A Middle-School Student Suffers a Brain Injury After Being Bullied: Who is Liable for His Injuries?

A woman in California is suing a Los Angeles school district after her son was left with a permanent brain injury and spinal cord injury after being choked by a bully last year. The incident was caught on film and the mother says that her son was brutally assaulted and strangled by a child who was known to be violent toward other students. Is the school at fault? Keep reading to find out how this case may go

The Issue in Question is That the School Did Not Take Action

The reason the mother feels the school is responsible is not necessarily that the bully committed the act but that the school knew the bully had done similar things. They found that as much as nine months before the assault on her child, there is a video of the bully punching the victim in the stomach and pushing him against a wall before putting his hands around the victim’s neck while students crowd around.

Eventually, the video shows that a staff member walks by, looks at the group, and then just keeps walking. The victim falls on one knee and seems to be struggling to breathe. Another video shows that numerous people carried the boy to the office and laid him on the ground before the emergency medical providers arrived.

What the Lawsuit Says

The lawsuit says that the boy had numerous seizures yet 9-1-1 was not called until his mother got to the school – which was a full half-hour after the incident took place. The mother of the victim told a local news station that her son has been having a hard time since the incident happened and that his brain and spinal cord injuries are permanent and a direct result of him being chocked. The boy now needs lifelong monitoring and cannot read or write on his own.

How Serious is Bullying?

This is clearly a tragic case but many may read it and wonder if it is all that common. The answer is that it is much more common than many adults realize. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 20% of high school students are bullied at school and about 16% of high school students are cyberbullied. Middle school is even worse with 25% of students saying they have been bullied.

Bullying can cause short-term issues but it can cause long-term issues too. It can harm children both physically and psychologically. School administrators are responsible for taking reasonable steps to keep students safe when they are on school grounds. In this case, if it is true that administrators knew that the bully was dangerous and did not take appropriate steps then they may be held accountable.