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marnicmen
marnicmen asks:
Q:

My son was bullied in school and defended himself. I am now being told that he is going to be suspended as well. What can I do?

My son is in 6th grade. The other day a boy stepped on his foot. When he said ouch, the kid turned around and pushed him a few times. My son pushed him back and said "chill out" at which time he turned to walk away. The other boy then pushed him down causing him to cut his finger. This all happened in a classroom where the teacher was not paying attention because she was on her computer. I notified the school of the situation. They are now telling me that my son will also be suspended because he pushed the other boy back. I advised them that my son has a right to defend himself to which I was told "not on school grounds". I advised them that if this happened to an adult the other person would be charged because they initiated the assault and individuals are legally allowed to defend themselves against harm. I was again told my son could not defend himself on school grounds.  My son has been picked on throughout his school career and it is because I have told him not to fight back but to tell a teacher instead. However, a few weeks ago he was pushed into a pole by a different student and cut his cheek. After that I told him that he has a right to defend himself but try to walk away if you can. He defended himself in this situation and attempted to walk away and now he is being suspended. I am now considering bringing charges against the boy for assault and the teacher for failing to protect my child. Is this something that can be done? Any other suggestions? Thank you.
In Topics: Bullying and teasing
> 60 days ago

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Expert

Boys Town National Hotline
Jun 21, 2013
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What the Expert Says:

This is an incredibly frustrating situation.  Since the school has chosen to suspend both of the children involved it might be a good idea to file a written formal complaint to your school and school board.  You can also request that the school provide a safety plan/support for your child should these types of incidents happen again.  Every district has a superintendent and board of education that makes decisions regarding issues that are not resolved so your formal letter will be discussed at this level.  As for legal charges, we don't have a direct answer for you but feel free to check into the legal aid.  Take the steps listed above to make sure you have exhausted your means before paying a lawyer to handle the situation.  

If you have any questions regarding the issue on bullying, feel free to contact our toll free hotline at 1-800-448-3000 and talk with a counselor for support.

Sincerely,
The Boys Town National Hotline
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