It is common to get news of a kid bullied either at school or at home. What is more perturbing about these cases is the kind of dehumanizing treatment that the victim goes through in the hands of the perpetrators. The act of bullying can take many forms which are all aimed at humiliating and intimidating the affected party. They include text messages, emails, website posts and a face to face encounter. The one-on-one bullying entails name-calling, use of teases, rumor peddling, and use of threats. Where it takes place through online media, it is referred to as cyber bullying. Learn about Laws against Bullying!
Legislation of Laws against Bullying
Laws against Bullying are those that are geared towards preventing the act of bullying, regardless of the form and the place. The legal redress of the menace has reduced these cases to a great extent. However, a better part of the population is still in total darkness concerning the legislation. The Laws against Bullying have a prominent focus in schools which are seen as the main base of operation for bullies. Bullying is most problematic in the middle years of schooling.
It is important to note that most of the federal laws have no direct relation to bullying. What usually happens is that most bullying incidences overlap with discrimination cases. It could be based on race, skin color, national origin, religion, or disability. In such scenarios, the first party that plays an instrumental role in stopping the vice is the school administration. If the situation deteriorates, the Department of Education will then take up the matter. This is especially when an individual’s civil rights have been compromised. The Department of Justice will also help resolve the matter to the final conclusion.
At school level, there are Laws against Bullying that oblige the administrators to settle the matter. The cases that are handled could be:
- Pervasive or persistent
- Creating an unfavorable environment for learning
- Based on religious disability or sex among others
The immediate obligation of the school is to put to an end the cases that are related to the above. This calls for an understanding of the federal laws used in achieving the desired results. Failure by the school to uphold the required cohesive and learner friendly environment will lead to the case being handled by the relevant higher authorities.
Federal Laws against Bullying enforced by the Department of Education and Department of Justice
- Title IV and VI of the Civil Rights Act -1964
- Rehabilitation Act of 1973, section 504
- Titles II and III, Americans with Disabilities Act
- Education Amendments, title IX 1972
Title IX and IV protect all students even if one is or is considered to be a LGBT. These sections are mainly tailored to prevent sexual harassment by either fellow students of any other party. Harassment based sexual orientation and sex is not mutually exclusive. The following is a case study that will help you understand how this kind of laws works.
A female high school student is slammed into desks, spat on, and mocked. She is also called names because she allegedly does not conform to stereotypes that are feminine in nature. Her sexual orientation is also one of the reasons that fueled the attack which left her a complete wreck. She is fond of wearing male clothes, has a deep voice and short hair. The situation goes to the extreme when she confesses that she is part of the lesbian movement. In response to the case, the school terms the whole thing as “sexual orientation harassment.” Consequently, no action is taken and the young girl continues to live in turmoil. Here, the harassment is mainly due to the fact that the girl was not in agreement with some gender stereotypes. The school was therefore not justified to categorize the case as stemming from sexual orientation. The appropriate law that should have been used in determining the case should have been drawn from Title IX.
Schools’ Obligation in Regard to Harassment Arising From Protected Classes
As an individual, you have the liberty to report bullying cases to the school authorities. The following are the lines of action by the school after you have launched the complaint.
- Obligation to undertake the investigation and determination of what took place
- Making inquiries from the victim and the suspected culprits
- Making the offenders desist from their unbecoming behaviors
- The targeted students must also be protected from retaliation
As can be seen, the laws against bullying are weak and inadequate. There is a need for more stringent laws against bullying to curb this vice. This is a joint war that requires everybody so as to realize the desired level of success. There is an urge for everyone to be an active participant in this struggle. Your kid is much safer when you are playing a role in helping to fight bullying.