Bullying in St. Louis County, MO
What Legal Action Can You Take Against Bullies?
Child bullying has become a national problem. Over 71% of children report that bullying is a problem in their schools. For younger children, bullying is even more of a problem, with over 90% of 4th through 8th graders reporting that they are being bullied at school.
By law, Missouri schools are required to implement anti-bullying policies to protect your children. Sometimes, however, schools cannot or will not intervene in ways that protect your children from the ongoing effects of physical violence or harassment from other students. As technology has become part of our daily lives, often the harassment does not end at school. Through the use of the internet, cell phones, and other mobile devices, children have the ability to harass their peers around the clock.
OBTAINING AN ORDER OF PROTECTION
If your child has been a victim of bullying or harassment, you have options available to you to protect your child. In 2011, the Missouri legislature passed new laws that allow parents to petition the court for an Order of Protection on behalf of their children to stop another child perpetrator from stalking and harassing their child. Allow our St. Louis County family lawyers to step in on your behalf and fight for the proper protection you need.
Contact us now to schedule a free consultation with our team! We’re ready to help you!
WHAT SORT OF BEHAVIOR CONSTITUTES BULLYING?
In order to obtain an Order of Protection against a child bully who is not a “household member,” you must show that the person actively “stalking” your child.
Stalking is defined as the following:
- Purposely and repeatedly engaging in an unwanted course of conduct that causes alarm to another person, when it is reasonable in that person’s situation to have been alarmed by the conduct.
“Alarm” in this situation means to cause fear of danger of physical harm. “Course of conduct” means a pattern of conduct composed of repeated acts over a period of time, however short, that serves no legitimate purpose. Such conduct may include, but is not limited to, following the other person or unwanted communication or unwanted contact. “Repeated” means two or more incidents evidencing a continuity of purpose.
Some behaviors that may rise to the level of “stalking” in order to obtain an Order of Protection might include:
- Physical assault, including punching, kicking, shoving, tripping, etc.
- Physical intimidation or brandished weapons
- Verbal assaults and threats of violence
- Abusive language and hate speech
- Harassment and psychological “mind games”
- Cyber-bullying via email, Facebook, Twitter, etc.
- Hazing and “initiation” rituals
WE CAN HELP PUT A STOP TO YOUR CHILD’S BULLYING
At Coulter Lambson, LLC we will take the time to listen to your concerns and understand your child’s unique needs. We will work with you to create and implement a comprehensive plan of action to protect your child from bullying.
Depending on your situation, that may include:
- School Intervention: We can help you document a history of incidents that have occurred, prepare a report of suspected bullying, and help you with collaborating with school administrators in an investigation and prevention/intervention process.
- Police Investigation: We can assist you in gathering key evidence in your case, and if appropriate, help as a liaison between you and the police in pursuing criminal charges against the perpetrator.
- Order of Protection: We can assist you with obtaining a Child Order of Protection against the bully who is harassing your child, which would prevent the bully from having any contact with your child through any means. Additionally, if you have already obtained an Order of Protection and the bully continues to harass your child despite the order, we can assist you in enforcing the Order of Protection by bringing a contempt action.
- Civil Actions Against Bully’s Parents or School District: If necessary, we can refer you to excellent civil attorneys who we collaborate with to understand the various civil actions that you may have to protect your child’s rights, including bringing a civil action against the school district or the child’s parents to remedy the situation.
- Aiding in Removing Inappropriate Materials from the Internet: In this modern era, your child’s mistakes can repeatedly come back to haunt them. It is important to act quickly to remove inappropriate materials from circulating on the internet. Depending on the circumstances, we work with authorities and the courts to remove inappropriate materials, pictures, or videos from the internet.
CONTACT OUR TOP-RATED LAWYERS IN ST. CHARLES & CLAYTON, MO
School and cyber-bullying can often result in tragic outcomes and harm the reputations of innocent people. The St. Louis County family law attorneys at Coulter Lambson have experience in dealing with cyber-bullying and school bullying cases and are ready to discuss your options during a free, one-hour consultation at our St. Charles or Clayton offices.
Contact Coulter Lambson, LLC for a free and confidential consultation.