This week I was interviewed by a local news station, Fox 17, to discuss the sexual assaults which recently occurred on school buses. Unfortunately, my office has handled several inadequate security cases and school liability cases. These cases never come to my office until the damage has been done. As such, I would like to share a little advice to prevent these tragic events before they happen.
I have found that in almost all my school violence cases ofter, there was a lack of communication between the student, parents and school before the accident occurs. Many times this happens in cases where considerable warning signs existed. As such, if you have a child or friend that is dealing with a bully or aggressive student I would suggest you consider the following advice:
Whenever a serious case of bullying occurs, make a personal visit to the teacher, principal and follow up with certified letters or emails to the principal of the school, school board members, and the superintendent. Include the full names of all of the bullies, what the bully or bullies did, and the date the incident occurred. Request a response and a plan of action.
With any serious bullying you should call the police immediately.
You also want to document everything that happens. Write copious notes about every aspect of the bullying. If there are bruises or injuries, take pictures. Use a notebook to write down any doctors visits, calls to the school, visits to the school, letters sent, and also all responses that you receive.
If you have any questions, feel free to call my office.