October 17, 2014

Could a Bully’s Parents be Held Liable?


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIn some cases, parents of bullies could be liable for failing to prevent their child’s behavior or even encouraging it. Typically, the claim made against a bully’s parents in Pennsylvania would be negligent supervision or negligent entrustment. The biggest burden is these types of cases is gathering sufficient evidence to prove the parents’ liability.

Bullying is serious issue for young victims. Even if a victim’s parents get involved, the situation does not always get resolved before some serious emotional trauma is caused. Many bullying victims may begin to pull away from friends, perform poorly in school, and attempt to avoid extracurricular activities. Some victims also experience anxiety and depression.

Bullying & Liability

The unique aspect of many bullying cases today is that the abuse also pervades the victim’s text messages and social media accounts. Often, the victim will save photos of the cyberbullying and bring it to the attention of the school. Once the school becomes involved, they will typically alert the bully’s parents of the abuse. If the parents do not take reasonable action, such as monitoring or restricting the bully’s access to his/her cell phone and internet, they could be liable.

However, every case is unique and you should consult a legal professional before deciding to take legal action.