Skilled Nashville Education Law Attorney Handling Complex Cases Involving Bullying
Treating clients with dignity, respect and discretion
There has been a tremendous amount of discussion in the past few years regarding bullying: what it is, how it affects people, and what should be done to stop it. In age where completely anonymity is possible because of the internet, the cruelties of children (and adults) have truly come to light.
At the Law Office of Perry A. Craft, PLLC, in Nashville, we can explain not only what Tennessee’s laws are regarding bullying, but how they can affect your child even if he or she is not directly involved in an incident. Attorney Craft’s years of experience as a criminal defense attorney give him a unique perspective into cases like these, allowing him to build innovative strategies designed to protect your children.
Common types of bullying
While bullying can take many forms, the most common examples we hear include:
- Verbal abuse, such as name-calling or teasing
- Threats of physical, emotional or sexual abuse or harm
- Gossiping and spreading rumors, even if they are not “malicious” in their intention
- Making racist or sexist remarks
- Purposely embarrassing someone
- Physically assaulting someone
- Sexually assaulting someone
- Stealing another person’s personal belongings
In some cases, a school may choose to include the act of doing nothing in the face of bullying, often called bystander syndrome, in its definition. Students accused of allowing bullying to happen, even if they did not directly participate, may face additional challenges.
Each of these acts can occur on the physical grounds of the school, but may also occur in areas like playgrounds, on school field trips, or online. Cyber-bullying, or the act of bullying a person online, is covered under Tennessee’s zero-tolerance policies. Cyber bullying is especially insidious because it is often very difficult to prove who is involved, and often involves multiple parties who will be reluctant to “sell out” another member of the group.
The problem with the law and bullying
While there is no doubt that bullying is cruel and should be stopped, there is much doubt and much debate over what constitutes bullying. The federal government defines bullying as “unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose.”
We emphasized “has the potential to be repeated” because this is a slippery slope. Under federal law, literally anything could be perceived as bullying, because any behavior has the potential to be repeated. If your child is accused of bullying, he or she faces a difficult, subjective battle against a concept – not a specific, definitive rule. But if your child feels threatened, belittled or victimized by another student, a group of students, a teacher or a staff member because of comments or actions that do not fall within the standard definition, your child’s pleas for help could be ignored.
Because of this, and because of the severity of the consequences for face-to-face and cyber bullying, you want an education law attorney who can navigate the murky waters of such a charge. Attorney Craft works on behalf of students and teachers who have been named in a bullying or cyber-bullying case. Every strategy is individually crafted with your child’s specific needs and goals in mind. When your son or daughter has been accused of bullying, we put the full force of our firm behind you and defend your child’s rights.
Rely on us when your child is embroiled in a case alleging bullying
Bullying can have life-long consequences on both the accused and the victim. You want an attorney who understands both sides of the issue, and can use that craft a strategy that anticipates how the other side thinks. To work with a skilled Nashville education lawyer, we invite you to contact the Law Offices of Perry A. Craft, PLLC, by calling 615.239.1899 or filling out our convenient contact form.