October 10, 2009,
K.M. asks from Coppell, TX on October 07, 2009
School Bully Just Broke My Son's Nose
I got the phone call from the school nurse today that my son may have a broken nose from an altercation on the playground. Sure enough when I picked him up and brought him for x-rays, he has two breaks in his nose. The specialist wants us to wait about a week for the swelling to go down to see if he will need surgery...
My son is 10 years old and in 5th grade. He has never, ever been in trouble before. This other child started bullying him last year with name calling (I even sent an email to his mother about it). From what I gathered today from the assistant principal is that he has already been in the office this year for behaviorial issues. AND that his punishment would no playing sports during recess!!!! That's it.
What can I do? Can I sue the school/parents to have this child removed from the school? Can we get reimbursed for our medical bills? Do I go straight to the school district offices? Call the police?
I am so angry that I have been shaking all day and have been nauseaus. I was upset while driving to my son's school, but then upon hearing it was this 'bully' that did it, I am furious. His path has very naturally led to him breaking another child's nose.
Please help. I want him and his parents to have to suffer for what they have done to not only my boy, but other children as well.
C.S. answers from Dallas on October 08, 2009
I am so sorry to hear about this! I am a 4th grade teachr, and I can't believe how the school is handling this! That's an overtly harmful action, and recess restriction is a very poor way to deviate this child's behavior!! I would certainly file a police report and schedule (or just show up TODAY) a meeting with both the asst. principal and the main principal on campus. It's only the 2nd week in the nd 6 weeks....this child probably needs to be in some sort of BAC (behavioral) class and not mixed in with the rest of the students in the homeroom or self contained classes. I am shocked that they don't see how serious this is. Do you know anything about this child's parents? Did they at least have the decency to call you and apologize??? If it were my child that did this, I would have called and offered compensation!! I do not think you are going too far here...I would like you to remember that he is just a 5th grader and probably has some mental/emotional issues...the problem here lies with the discipline from the school and the parents lack of understanding that their child's behavior is destructive. I hope that didn't come out the wrong way...I totally agree with you, I just think there might be some underlying issues with this child...most children aren't so aggressive for no reason. AND I am not blaming the parents (readers don't email me and tell me it's not their fault, I'm not saying it is all their fault). I am not sure about suing the parents, but I certainly think if the school decides not to act on this that you could have a case against the district!! You should not have to send your child to what is suppose to be a "safe" learning environment and question whether or not he will be safe. I think the school is dropping the ball here! Good luck! I hope your son heals quick!!
2 moms found this helpful
A.J. answers from Dallas on October 08, 2009
I'm sorry to hear about your son and the bully. I understand your frustrations but I also empathize with the bully's parents. Put yourself in there shoes...maybe they are at a loss at how to handle there son as well. I do agree they are responsible for medical bills but being angry and upset is not going to help or change the situation at all. You need to calmly talk with the parents and remember their precious angle is having some type of problem too and if they are truly caring people they are having as much difficulty with this as you are. No parent wants to hear how bad their kids are!
If you throw a lawyer into this right off the bat it will put the other family in the defense to defend their son. And all that is going to do is cost you lots of money that you may get back but it could
be years down the line.
I do want to add one thing- it takes a village to raise a child! Your actions toward this bully will be in his mind the rest if his life. I know I don't know this bully but I do know God and he said to love your neighbor. I believe this means by actions and prayer. My son is not a bully and he comes home complaining of bullies we pray for them.
I pray that everything will work out and give you and your son peace with this situation.
1 mom found this helpful
J.C. answers from Chicago on October 07, 2009
I sympathize with you.....no mother wants to see their son in pain or bullied.......first you need to file a police report....i think suing the family is way out of line personally......the boy should also be expelled for at least a week from school and no more recess for the rest of the school year & if this boy rides a school bus he should be banned from that as well since its very easy to bully/intimidate other children on a bus.....and the parents should be responsible for all medical bills, that is very typical protocol.....if you dont get your wishes then seek an attorney but i think suing is going a bit far.....sorry you are experiencing this.....best wishes to you and your son
1 mom found this helpful
T.F. answers from Dallas on October 07, 2009
I COMPLETELY understand your anger. I've been there, except my daughter did not require medical care.
I am not on a bandwagon of getting lawyers and suing people. THe first things you need are a police report, pictures of your son and the damage to his face, and copies of ALL medical charges.
From a personal experience, here is what we did......
Daughter was in 6th grade. She was in gym participating in a group activity with some sort of race. Daughter won the race. A LARGE girl (too old for 6th grade) was very angry that she did not "beat" my daughter. So in turn, the LARGE older girl started fighting with my daughter.
No one knew that my daughter is a black belt. Also, Plano ISD has a policy that if you fight (even self defense..) you are expelled for however many days they determine is needed. We've always told our daughter if she is fighting self-defense, we would back her up.
Anyway, my daughter remembered the PISD "rule" and instead of hitting back, she blocked everything. She did a great job...the LARGE girl was losing because no hits were making contact.
I was called by the school Dean to come in. I was told about the altercation and the first thing out of my mouth was...Did my daughter hurt the bully? I know she is very capable of killing someone. The Dean told me that my daughter frustrated the he$$ out of the bully and impressed the entire gym with blocking abilities. That is when I told the Dean that daughter is a black belt.
NOW for the legal issues. My daughter was not physically hurt. IF she had been, I would have been much more tough with the parents. However, we simply filed a police report with the Plano police school liason. This girl was eventually moved to another school with other issues. The move to the other school was prompted because someone (us) had the nerve to file a report to start with. The bully (and her parents) have endured some consequences because of this behavior.
...YOU ARE DUE medical expenses. You should not have to pay a penny out of your pocket for the damage done by another student on school property.
The police dept cannot tell you what to do, however, at this age, they are trying to make an impression on kids who are heading down the wrong track. IF you do file a report, this kid's (and family's) life will be miserable for a while because they are held accountable.
I hope you have saved the correspondence you had with this bully's parents. It will prove to be valuable for you to show that this is not a first time occurence. It is easy for the parents to deny a problem and blame it on a one time issue...NOT
Bless you...you are being a good mom and trying to do the right thing. I admire you. It was hard enough for me to maintain composure with my anger when we had our issue and my daughter was not in medical care. I shudder to think about what my behavior would be if someone hurt my child. I'd probably be the one under arrest!.
Best wishes and keep us updated on the progress.
1 mom found this helpful
J.D. answers from Dallas on October 07, 2009
You need to find a personal injury attorney. The parents of the child should at least have to pay for the medical bills and possible personal distress. Only an attorney will be able to assist you in determining what steps need to be taken.
A.G. answers from Amarillo on October 08, 2009
I am so sorry this is happening to your son. Bullying can be very dangerous and needs to be taken seriously. It is very unfortunate that the other boy's punishment is so light. I don't think you can sue to have him removed from school but you might be able to sue for medical damages. I would take your concerns directly to the superintendent since obviously the school isn't taking it seriously. How is your son? How does he feel? What does he want to do? You need to take all of this into consideration as well because you don't want to make it worse. The most important thing should be that the bullying stops and no one else gets hurt. It might be good for your son to talk to the counselor about what he is feeling. Again I am so sorry this is happening to your family and I hope that it stops soon.
A.B. answers from Dallas on October 08, 2009
If someone broke your nose, you'd go to the police! Unless it was an accident, it needs to be dealt with in the same manner. I'd be crazy mad, too! Hope everything works out well for you and it causes as little stress as possible :).
G.W. answers from Dallas on October 08, 2009
I know my answer may sound a little cheasy and sorry in advance for giving you this kind of information....One of my favorite programs to watch (when I have the time) is the People's Court. If you've seen it, you know it's basically small claims court. Anyway, I've seen numerous cases that were filed by parents such as yourself whose child was injured by another who was acting more like a bully. As I remember, in most cases, the judge said that the parent who was suing could only sue the child and that if found guilty, the judgement could be extended until they reach legal age to pay (18). I think the parents are not so often held responsible financially because there is no negligence on their personal part. Now, I'm obviously not a lawyer so I don't know the concrete law on this type of case but I do agree that first you need to file a police report to document the injury and then seek legal advice on the laws of recovering your medical expenses. That is definitely a cost you should not have to incur. Best wishes, I really hate that this happened to your son. Again, sorry for the strange info :-)
L.R. answers from Dallas on October 10, 2009
I am disappointed to hear so many people are out to "get" the bully! Have you no compassion? What if it was your child who broke someone's nose? Would you want to be sued? You have no idea the pain those parents may be feeling with dealing with their child. Are you so hard hearted that you can't see that the bully is suffering too? Hurting people hurt others. I am not saying that I don't sympathize with your situation. I understand you being upset about your child. It is only natural and right. No matter what you "do" you can not take back what happened. The nose is broken. If you sue, what does that accomplish? No amount of money will change the situation. I think it is sad to hear how much you want someone else to suffer. I can guarantee you that one day you will receive the same payment. Be careful, revenge is a nasty monster that will turn on you, too. It is your responsibility to your child to show love and compassion. I love you and you have my compassion for what you are going through. Now, pass on the love and find it in your heart to forgive the bully.
J.P. answers from Wichita Falls on October 08, 2009
Personally, I would report it to the police and I would be taking the parents to court for the medical bills. That behavior is unacceptable and if you hit the parents in their pocket book they might be motivated to take more control of their son's behavior.
L.S. answers from Dallas on October 08, 2009
I would sue the parents of the child and the school for your pain, truama and medical bills. Then they will know you mean business. If it was a problem last year, then they should know that this is a problem this year. This child is obviously in need of some help. BUT your child shouldn't suffer for his problems. If that is the only punishment they can think of then I think you need to call an attorney. And the state board of education. I am sure the school has insurance to cover things like this. Most schools have a "no tolerance" policy for bullying etc. That this school doesn't is mind boggling.
I say call an attorney and protect your son. Document well!!!! You will need it. And a civil lawsuit will make the parents accontable for damages and make them think about how to handle that kid!!!
A.G. answers from Dallas on October 07, 2009
I am a teacher, and I am horrified at how the school is handling this. You need to file a police report, and let the school know you are filing the report. It looks bad for the school for police reports to be filed. They may be willing to handle the discipline differently if they know you are going that route. Also, something needs to be done to get this bully's attention, and the attention of his parents. He is obviously making some bad choices. Maybe if he faces some tough consequences now he may be able to turn his life around. You certainly shouldn't have to pay a dime for any medical care either. I am so sorry your son had to go through this. It's a horrible situation. I hope he heals quickly and doesn't need surgery. I also hope he is able to avoid this bully in the future. He should never have to see him again.