State laws specifically require California’s public schools to take steps to prevent all types of bullying.
Although California has other anti-bullying rules, a more recent statute called Seth’s Law does a good job of setting out exactly what educational institutions need to do to protect students from bullying.
According to the ACLU of California, the law requires schools both to enact and enforce a policy against bullying.
The policy has to be made public, and the public, including students and parents, have to be informed of how to lodge a complaint with the school about bullying.
Also, the school must have a consistent and clear process in place for investigating bullying allegations. The school is not allowed to disregard or brush off bullying, and school staff members who witness bullying behavior have a duty to try to stop it.
While this does not mean that a school can stop all incidents of bullying, the bottom line is that the public schools have to do what they reasonably can to prevent it from happening. They also must deal with bullying firmly when it occurs.
A family whose child has been victimized by bullies may have options
If a public school in the greater Los Angeles area does not follow California’s laws, then parents of bullying victims may have the option to sue and obtain compensation.
Although the private schools may not be subject to the same rules, they too may be legally liable for bullying if it happens on their watch.
In general, educational institutions are supposed to ensure that all students are safe, particularly those who are especially vulnerable to bullying behavior.
Aside from the school where the bullying happened, other parties may be legally liable as well.
Families of bullying victims should not think they are powerless to fight back. They may have a number of legal options available to them.