June 9, 2014

Pennsylvania Law: Can Bullying Victims Take Legal Action?

Can Bullying Victims Take Legal Action in Pennsylvania? | Luongo Bellwoar LLP

Bullying and cyberbullying are a common problem for students of all ages. These acts can cause physical, psychological, and/or emotional harm to the victim. It is often traumatizing and can leave a child feeling unwelcome or uncomfortable in his or her own school.

Although there are laws that define how a school should react to bullying, occasionally it goes unnoticed or is handled improperly. Many times, a civil case is a necessary way for victims of bullying to get the justice and compassion they deserve.

While the bully may be held liable in a civil lawsuit, the school or officials may be liable as well. In Pennsylvania, public schools are typically immune from liability in negligence cases. Of course, there are exceptions and limited situations where immunity would not be applicable. However, private schools are viewed by the state as being private companies and are therefore not protected under governmental immunity laws. Dependent upon the unique circumstances of the case, a private school may be liable for student bullying.

If your child has been the victim of bullying and you’re not satisfied with the school’s action, consider a civil lawsuit to protect his or her rights. Of course, every case is different. Be sure to consult with a lawyer to determine whether or not a civil lawsuit is the right course of action for you.

It’s also important to note that even college hazing may be considered a type of bullying.