This week’s arrest of 7 Sayreville, New Jersey high school football players has reignited a nationwide discussion about the terrors of high school bullying and what high school administrators, teachers, coaches and parents can do to put a stop to this epidemic. It also hits home as a recent article in the Connecticut Law Tribune entitled “Connecticut Schools Hit with a Rising Number of Bullying Lawsuits” reports on the increasing number of parents who are finally taking a stand against bullies on behalf of their kids and filing bullying lawsuits. But the question remains…how do we solve this bullying problem? Are criminal arrests the answer? Expulsions? Civil lawsuits against the bullies and their parents? More education and prevention?
As the top bullying lawyers in Connecticut will tell you—it’s a combination of all of the above. Keep reading to learn more…
Connecticut School Bullying Reports on the Rise
Based on the most recent statistics published by the State Department of Education, there were 1,431 reported bullying incidents during the 2012-2013 academic year, covering 148 school districts within the State of Connecticut. As the best Stamford and Greenwich school bullying lawyers would agree, most bullying complaints are handled at the school level and do not escalate into civil lawsuits or criminal arrests. Most public and private Connecticut high schools and middle schools follow a state-mandated, methodical investigative protocol. School administrators and social workers intervene and work closely with the complainant and the alleged bully and their respective families, if necessary, to mediate and resolve the confrontation. Police are usually only called in on cases that involve physical assault and intimidation, or egregious emotional and psychological harassment.
Can My Child Get Arrested in Stamford, New Canaan, Darien or Greenwich Connecticut for Bullying Like the Football Players in Sayreville New Jersey?
Yes. Stamford, New Canaan, Darien and Greenwich police are no longer taking any chances in bullying cases. There are certain scenarios when Connecticut bullying arrests for harassment, threatening, reckless endangerment, assault and sexual assault misdemeanor and felony charges are necessary. The arrests are not only intended to punish, but they are also brought for general deterrence purposes—that is, to send a message to all New Canaan, Darien and Greenwich middle school and high school student that if you bully, then you can get arrested and hauled into the Connecticut criminal courts with the possibility of going to jail. In addition to punishment and deterrence, the Connecticut juvenile courts can offer bullies services that are more easily available and monitored in the court system. Court personnel regularly check in with school guidance counselors and teachers, with the ultimate goal of correcting the bullying behavior and getting the students on the right track. It is usually when a Connecticut bully flagrantly disregards the criminal court’s conditions or requirements that they find themselves mired in the Connecticut criminal court process. In those situations, it is always a good idea to hire a top Greenwich Connecticut criminal lawyer.
When School Systems Aren’t Doing Enough to Stop Connecticut Bullying
Sometimes, however, the Stamford, Greenwich, Darien and New Canaan high schools and middle schools will not do enough to stop bullying, harassment, intimidation and hazing. There are often political, social and academic considerations and pressures that may protect a bully and his family. This is not only unfair, but it can be criminal and must be called out and corrected by a top Greenwich, Darien or New Canaan criminal lawyer. We have seen certain top Connecticut bullying lawyers who are not afraid to ruffle the feathers of rich and powerful parents in Greenwich, New Canaan and Darien, especially in cases of egregious physical, sexual and psychological bullying and hazing. No child should have to go to school miserable or scared. In certain cases, it takes a top Greenwich or Darien criminal bullying lawyer attorney to effectively advocate on behalf of your child who is being targeted.
Does DCF Need To Get Involved in Bullying Cases?
Sometimes. It is critical to remember that teachers, coaches, school psychologists, and school administrators are Connecticut DCF mandated reporters, and are therefore required to report any reasonable suspicion of physical or emotional abuse or neglect to the Connecticut Department of Children and Families. They are required to report the abuse or neglect within 12 hours so that a DCF investigator can promptly respond and investigate the allegations. Physical and extreme psychological bullying in a middle school or high school must be reported under these mandated reporting laws.
Get in Touch with a Stamford, Greenwich, Darien and New Canaan Bullying Lawyer Today
Click here to learn more about Connecticut bullying laws and how the bullying lawyers at Mark Sherman Law can help you and your son or daughter protect themselves from bullies or bullying allegations. As is the case with most criminal lawyers, we represent both victims of bullying and accused bullies, as it is helpful to hire a criminal attorney who has worked on either side of the issue to offer our clients the most objective and comprehensive perspectives on their case. So if your son or daughter has a bullying case in Greenwich, New Canaan, Fairfield, Westport, Stamford, or Darien, call a Connecticut bullying lawyer at Mark Sherman Law today. We can be reached by 24/7 at (203) 358-4700.