Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Iowa News Station does not get the Meaning of Bullying

There is no doubt lawsuits against school districts regarding, "bullying" have increased.  However there  is constant never ending severity of misrepresenting the premise of bullying.  We saw that issue arise regarding the news anchor who claimed she was bullied by a one time email that took issue with her weight.  Sorry this is not bullying.

 Now we have an Iowa news station reporting the following case with headlines that read: " Jury orders district to pay in bullying lawsuit" After reading the article however it is quite evident this is not a story of bullying.  The facts stated in the report are the following: there is a threat by student to do violence against another student, the threat is through text message, the child reports the threat to teachers, the school fails to take action, student is attacked.  The article does not state how he or she was attacked or what injuries the student sustained but that is irrelevant.  The civil complaint:  fail to supervise.  The jury verdict:  guilty.  The damages: around 3K. School doesn't comment except to say they will strengthen their anti bullying policies. I would have to bluntly state, "Stop the misconceptions, and stop crying wolf." This was not a case of bullying.  Bullying is  ongoing, systematic, continuous acts whether psychological or physical against a student by either a student, students, teachers, staff etc., of a public school K-12 where there is physical or emotional hurt.....[bullying laws vary among states].

There is a tort called [again law varies within the state], "fail to supervise."  That was the case in this instance. According to Florida law, a school does have a duty to supervise children on their watch.  It seems in this case, they were noticed of impending danger and failed to act.  Another words they breached their duty and by breaching that duty it was foreseeable that danger was imminent.  So the breach of the duty caused the child to be attacked, where injuries were sustained, which in turn caused the damages. [medical bills, etc.,] I would say this was an intentional battery. One time act.   Again it was not bullying.  It is stories like this that minimize bullying and cause for misunderstanding.  This misunderstanding can be very dangerous to the real victims of bullying.
      photo courtesty: instantdisplay.co.ukShare
Here is the article:

Jury orders district to pay in bullying lawsuit

KEOKUK, IOWA -- A Keokuk Middle School student who said school officials ignored a threat that resulted in an attack won a legal victory against the district.
The lawsuit centered around an incident that occurred Oct. 31, 2011.
The student, who KHQA will not name because she's a juvenile, complained to school officials that a fellow student sent her a threatening text message.
“The jury found that the school was at fault for failing to protect the child,” the student's attorney Curtis Dial said. “The school was negligent to protect her from assault.”
The girl was later attacked, Dial said.
The jury found the district liable and ordered it to pay Steele more than $2,900. Her attorney said that will likely cover the cost of her medical expenses.
The two-day trial ended Wednesday.
The district released a statement Thursday afternoon through it's attorney Steve Ort.
“Students' safety has been and will continue to be a primary concern of the Keokuk Community School District and the jury's findings will be taken into consideration in assuring these policies continue,” the statement reads. “We view the incident involving this student as an isolated and unfortunate occurrence.”
The district also pledged to continue offering anti-bullying programs.
A call to superintendent Tim Hood was not immediately returned

No comments:

Post a Comment