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School Abuse and Bullying Los Angeles

Los Angeles School Bullying Attorneys

Working to protect the rights of children bullied at school in California

You work hard to protect your child – teaching them to use seat belts and bike helmets and crying with them over every bump and bruise or hurt feeling. We understand you want to protect your child from a sometimes harsh world and give them the best life possible. However, if your child is being bullied or victimized at school, it can have devastating effects. Even though California has a wide set of anti-bullying laws, you may feel your complaints are falling on deaf ears. Our law firm is listening.

At Taylor & Ring in Los Angeles, we are here to help. Our attorneys recently secured a $27M settlement against the Moreno Valley Unified School District on behalf of a young boy who lost his life to bullying. Diego Stoltz died at the hands of his bullies in 2019 after sustaining a traumatic brain injury when he was knocked to the ground. This is the largest school bullying settlement in US history. Our lawyers want to help your family, too.

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How can your Los Angeles law firm help if my child is being bullied?

While nothing can undo the damage brought on by bullying, our attorneys can help you hold the right people accountable – like school districts that failed to act on behalf of your child. Bullying is unacceptable under any circumstances. We work to ensure your child wins financial compensation for what they’ve gone through and justice over the institution that failed to protect them.

When we take your case, we help by doing the following:

  • Determine under which bullying laws your case will be tried
  • Review the school’s policies on bullying and put the school on notice
  • Filing complaints with the school district or other relevant authorities
  • Protect your child from any retaliation
  • Gather evidence and documentation in support of your case
  • Represent your child at hearings and in court

Before seeking legal assistance, consider discussing the situation with school administrators and documenting your concerns. In some cases, schools may effectively address the bullying issue without the need for legal action. However, if the bullying persists or escalates, our law firm can step in to protect your child's rights and safety.

What is school bullying?

School bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school-aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Both kids who are bullied and those who bully others may have serious, lasting problems.

Bullying can take many forms, including:

  • Physical bullying. Hitting, kicking, shoving, tripping, spitting, biting, hair-pulling, and other physical violence.
  • Verbal bullying. Name-calling, teasing, taunting, insults, put-downs, threats, and other verbal abuse.
  • Social bullying. Excluding someone from a group, spreading rumors about someone, embarrassing someone in front of others, and other forms of social isolation.
  • Cyberbullying. Using electronic devices to bully someone, such as through text messages, social media, or email.
  • Sexual bullying. This is “bullying committed by one person or a group of people using actions and comments that are sexual in nature. This bullying occurs both in person and online.”

Bullying can have serious consequences for the victim. Victims of bullying may experience physical and emotional harm, including depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem.

What is Seth’s Law?

One of California’s most important pieces of anti-bullying legislation is Seth’s Law, which went into effect in 2012. Per the ACLU:

"Seth's Law" is a new law that strengthens existing state anti-bullying laws to help protect all California public school students. Seth's Law requires public schools in California to update their anti-bullying policies and programs, and it focuses on protecting students who are bullied based on their actual or perceived sexual orientation and gender identity/gender expression, as well as race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, disability, and religion.

…Seth's Law is named after a 13-year-old California student who tragically took his own life in 2010 after years of anti-gay bullying that his school failed to address.

Seth’s Law also explicitly states, “If school personnel witness an act of discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying, he or she shall take immediate steps to intervene when safe to do so.”

Under Seth’s Law, schools and school districts must:

  • Intervene when witnessing an act of bullying
  • Adopt an anti-bullying policy that prohibits “discrimination, harassment, intimidation, and bullying” based on protected characteristics
  • Adopt a process for receiving and investigating complaints, including a timeline and an appeals process
  • Publicize their anti-bullying policy and complaint process to students, parents, and the general public
  • Post support resources for victims of bullying on their websites

What are the effects of school bullying on victims?

The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) offers some insight on children who are bullied, noting, “Being bullied can severely affect a child’s or teen's self-image, social interactions, or school performance, and can lead to mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, and substance use, and even suicidal thoughts and behaviors.” They list the following as signs that a child may be being bullied:

  • Stress, anxiety, and depression
  • Anger or frustration
  • Loneliness and isolation
  • Feelings of rejection, or poor self-esteem
  • Changes in sleep and eating patterns
  • Health complaints
  • Poor relational skills
  • School avoidance, including missing or dropping out of school
  • Poor academic performance
  • Separation anxiety
  • Self-injury
  • Eating disorders
  • Suicidal or homicidal ideas or actions reports that, in the United States, one out of every five students aged 12 to 18 has been bullied at school, and that sixth-grade students experience the most bullying (at 31% of the group surveyed).

Sexual Abuse and Assault

Who is liable for my Los Angeles school bullying case?

In many cases, you can sue the school or school district for your child’s bullying case if the school is failing to protect your child. The process is different for public versus private schools. For public schools that receive federal funding, you must follow the regulations set out under the California Tort Claims Act. Our attorneys can explain this process in detail, including helping file a notice of complaint.

Suing a private school does not require going through the Tort Claims Act, but you must be able to prove that the school or school district was negligent in taking care of your child. Our attorneys can help with this as well.

Do you have a Los Angeles school bullying attorney near me?

Taylor & Ring serves clients and families from their offices in Manhattan Beach and Los Angeles:

1230 Rosecrans Ave.,
Suite 360
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
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12424 Wilshire Blvd.
Ninth Floor,
Los Angeles, CA 90025
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Los Angeles, CA attorneys protecting victims of school bullies

If your child is experiencing the devastating effects of bullying at school, you can take action now to protect their well-being and educational rights. At Taylor & Ring, we have a proven track record of advocating for students who have been subjected to bullying. Our dedicated team of legal professionals is committed to ensuring that your child receives the protection and support they deserve. We will assess your case, work closely with school authorities, and, if necessary, take legal action to hold responsible parties accountable. Every child has the right to a safe and nurturing learning environment, and we are here to help you secure that right. Contact us today for a confidential consultation and let us be your child's voice against bullying – just call our offices or fill out our contact form.