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Are schools liable for unaddressed bullying?

On Behalf of | Jun 29, 2023 | Students' Rights

According to the Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health, 1 in every 7 children has faced bullying at their school. Children who deal with bullying are at higher risks of anxiety and depression, and many end up dropping out of school, so it is vital that schools take it seriously.

Unfortunately, bullying remains a major issue in schools across Nevada. When your child experiences bullying and the school does not address the problem, you might question the school’s accountability. Whether a school carries liability for bullying incidents hinges on various factors. It is important for every parent dealing with a bullying problem to understand these standards and under what circumstances the school could face liability.

How Nevada’s laws combat bullying

Nevada enforces strict anti-bullying laws to ensure student safety. Schools must create and enforce a policy that explicitly prohibits bullying and any retaliation for reporting such incidents. Schools must appoint a safety team that addresses any reported bullying. If your child faces bullying and the school does not act according to these mandates, there is a possibility of holding the school accountable for its negligence in enforcing the law.

Determining negligence

Establishing school liability usually involves proving negligence on their part. This involves demonstrating that the school had an obligation to protect your child, failed to fulfill this duty and your child suffered harm as a result. Furthermore, you must also prove that the school’s failure led directly to this harm. For example, if the school did not enforce its own bullying policy or failed to take reasonable steps to protect your child after learning about the bullying, it can indicate negligence.

Steps to take

If you believe that the school hasn’t done enough to prevent bullying, remember to document everything. Record all interactions with school officials and any actions they take or do not take. If the bullying persists, these records can serve as evidence of the school’s knowledge of the situation and lack of appropriate action.

As a parent, your main concern is the safety and well-being of your child, and schools should be equally invested in that responsibility. If they fail to uphold their duty, you possess the right to demand accountability and push for change.