K-12 Schools and Bullying Liability: Who Pays?

Posted by Joseph D. Lento | Oct 25, 2022 | 0 Comments

Bullying causes a significant amount of physical and emotional pain for involved students and families. It can also wreak havoc on a school's reputation and bottom line. In fact, the high cost of bullying cases often creates a level of self-interest for schools that may influence how they manage bullying accusations.

This happens. In mid-2022, a school district in Alabama settled a bullying lawsuit for $250,000. The suit, filed after months of alleged bullying, argued that school officials had not followed their own written policies to keep students safe.

After paying a quarter of a million dollars to settle, it's fair to say that the school district could pay much closer attention to allegations citing those policies in the future. In theory, this could be a win for student safety.

But what about students who are unfairly accused of bullying?

Bullying Accusations: What's At Stake for Students and Schools

If word gets out that a specific school's community is rife with bullying, that could impact the school's funding, matriculation, hiring, and more. This is, of course, in addition to the financial hit that schools take any time they need to settle a lawsuit.

If a student gets slapped with a bullying charge and related sanctions, they'll probably have a challenging time throughout the rest of their time at their school. And unfortunately, their student record could make it nearly impossible to get into any subsequent academic institutions (including college).

Either way, there's a lot at stake.

The 2022 Alabama school lawsuit stated that the injuries caused by the bullying were a direct fault of the school and noted that the school should have intervened far sooner. This type of story can make it more likely that schools will act decisively or even dogmatically to reduce their own liability for these cases.

As a result, students accused of bullying may face steep sanctions (such as suspensions) before they're proven guilty beyond a shadow of a doubt. Their school's effort to avoid splashy news stories and expensive settlements can unfairly impact their entire future.

Don't Let Your School Skip to Conclusions — Get Practical Defense Help Today

While a bullying allegation from your school can seem like a today problem, it can have consequences lasting long into the future.

Think about your student's reputation. Even if your school eventually drops the case against your student, this story will follow them for years.

You can't let that happen. That's why you call attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm.

Attorney Joseph D. Lento has supported K-12 students nationwide with game-changing defenses and specific, practical legal expertise in the niche field of student defense. Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm understand that when your child's reputation and future are on the line, you need a team that will work tirelessly to protect them and your family from any unnecessary consequences.

Get in touch with the Lento Law Firm team today by calling 888-535-3686, or schedule a consultation online.

About the Author

Joseph D. Lento

"I pride myself on having heart and driving hard to get results!" Attorney Joseph D. Lento passionately fights for the futures of his clients nationwide. Attorney Lento and his team represent students and others in disciplinary cases and various other proceedings at colleges and universities across the United States. Attorney Lento has helped countless students, professors, and others in academia at more than a thousand colleges and universities across the United States, and when necessary, he and his team have sought justice on behalf of clients in courts across the nation. He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead prioritizes his clients' needs and well-being. Joseph D. Lento is licensed in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, is admitted pro hac vice as needed nationwide, and he can help you or your student address any school-related issue or concern anywhere in the United States.


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If you, or your student, are facing any kind of disciplinary action, or other negative academic sanction, and are having feelings of uncertainty and anxiety for what the future may hold, contact the Lento Law Firm today, and let us help secure your academic career.

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