Bullying, both online and in person, has become an American epidemic, and victims of bullying in Connecticut should not have to endure cruelty. In July 2011, the State of Connecticut passed the Anti-Bullying Bill into law to protect children that are victimized by their peers. The law speeds up the response to complaints of bullying, provides for staff training and addresses cyber-bullying, as well as providing other protections.
Bullying includes teasing, humiliation and even assault. In many cases, these behaviors are not the act of a single bully, but a group of peers that repeatedly inflicts psychological, and sometimes physical, harm.
The effects of bullying in schools have become apparent across the United States, as teen suicides and YouTube videos of desperate kids crying out for help continue to make headlines. Bullying can cause devastation to children, their families, their schools and our Connecticut communities. At Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers, we do not believe that children should be subjected to such abhorrent treatment, and passionately pursue the justice these young victims deserve. Our bullying lawyers are here to offer the families of victims a free, confidential discussion about their legal options.
Find out how we can help represent your child. Simply fill out the FREE Case Evaluation form and we will contact you.
Connecticut Bullying Laws
In an act that calls attention to Connecticut’s commitment to our children, the state legislature passed An Act Concerning the Strengthening of School Bullying Laws in July 2011, becoming one of the earlier adopters of provisions for cyber-bullying and off-campus behavior.
The new provisions concerning Connecticut’s anti-bullying laws include:
- All school employees (including transportation and cafeteria workers) must undergo annual training in bullying prevention and response, as well as how to handle suicide. This training must be provided to new teachers and teaching candidates as well.
- All school employees must report any bullying behavior they witness to school officials. This provision allows the employee one day to submit an oral report, and up to three days to submit a written report.
- All reports of bullying must be thoroughly investigated in a prompt manner. The school must issue a notice to parents of the involved children, detailing the school’s response, within a 48-hour period after the closing of investigations.
- Schools must respond to reports of bullying on school grounds, as well as online, on a school bus, at a bus stop or at the site of a school activity.
- Each school district must have a “safe school climate plan” and a safe school climate coordinator to help schools implement the plan.
- Each school will have a designated safe school climate committee, which will identify bullying patterns in the institution, review reports of bullying and educate the school community on topical issues related to bullying, among other responsibilities.
The law includes a number of additional provisions related to the use of evidence-based models to reduce bullying, biennial assessment, and the continued establishment of prevention and intervention programs. Another provision includes a state-wide resource network to connect all Connecticut schools to relevant information and resources, as well as training opportunities. Perhaps most importantly, the law amended the definition of bullying to include cyber-bullying and remove language that limited the definition to “during the school year.”
According to a 2011 report from the Connecticut General Assembly, 25% of Connecticut high school students – and 35% of 9th graders – report having been harassed or bullied on school property in the previous year. If your family has suffered from bullying in schools, contact experienced bullying lawyers to learn about your options.
No Cyber-Bullying In Connecticut Schools
With the new provision introduced in 2011, cyber-bullying is now included in the definition of bullying in Connecticut, and is subject to the same laws. Cyber-bullying is a relatively new term coined to describe the behavior of threats, harassment and other disturbing communications made through electronic means, including:
- Text message
- Chat/instant message
- Social media sites
- Blog posts
Cyber-bullies may use tactics such as spreading rumors through email, altering photos or creating fake social profiles. Cyber-bullying can be extremely harmful to the victim, especially when personal media such as photos or videos become involved. The danger of cyber-bullying is that it can happen 24/7, and in many cases, anonymously.
Symptoms Of A Bullied Child Or Teen
According to the Connecticut School Health Survey, high school students who are victimized by their peers are more likely to suffer performance-impeding symptoms that can affect their schoolwork, social relationships and family life.
Some signs that a teen or child may be suffering from bullying include:
- Carrying weapons to school
- Disappearing or damaged property
- Increased absences
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Suicidal tendencies
When bullying becomes physical, any number of personal injuries can occur. In some cases, a victim may be assaulted and sustain such injuries as a concussion, bruises and lacerations, headaches and broken bones. Such traumatic injuries can lead to medical bills, physical or psychological therapy, prescription costs, and in some cases, educational expenses for specialized schooling. Bullying lawyers can help victims fight for compensation for such damages.
Over 900,000 American high school students reported being the target of cyber-bullying in a single year, and these horrendous crimes extend to the middle and elementary schools as well. This type of trauma can lead to sustaining damage in a student’s psyche, and such injustice should not be tolerated.
Contact Our Connecticut Bullying Lawyers
Both cyber-bullying and bullying in schools have extreme and severe consequences. Unfortunately, the phenomenon is all too real and happens all too frequently. As bullying lawyers, our legal team has seen the damage that can be done to a family when a young person is victimized by their peers, and we believe every victim should have the aid of dedicated, passionate legal representation.
If you prefer to contact us online, we will review your case and get back to you. Simply fill out the FREE Case Evaluation form to get started.