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Cyberbullying and Litigation: Know the Steps to Filing a Case Against Your Child's Bully (page 2)

By — Education.com Member Contribution
Updated on Mar 15, 2011

Who can I contact?

Parents should try contacting the school district, but most districts aren't good at handling these type of cases. They want to protect all the children and are slow in determining who is the real bully. By the time they do, most cases have progressed into severe cases of bullying.

You can try contacting a lawyer, but unless he is a pro bono lawyer or will work for free, you will have a difficult time finding legal representation.

The best way to start the process is to file a small claim action in a civil court. This can be done without a lawyer. Almost every state has a small claims court, where you can claim up to $2000. Although the money is a nominal amount, it will get the attention of the bully's parents.

How do parents document a cyberbullying incident and how many incidents are required before a parent decides to prosecute?

This is your child's health and happiness, and parents want to make sure their child isn't affected by the bullying. One incident is enough to want to put a stop to it. Calling someone a derogatory term on Facebook, MySpace, or any other social networking site is deemed slander in the eyes of the law. One single copy of the conversation is enough proof for a judge. "If you can show the evidence of the bullying and the physical result of your daughter's depression or anxiety you have an extremely strong case," notes Maloney.

How do I protect my child after starting a case?

As the parent of a bully victim, chances are, you probably want to keep your child as far away from the accused as possible. Making your child change his/her Facebook, MySpace names and adding additional security will aide in the process of eliminating unwanted people online. If the bullying is via text message, changing the phone number and making sure she is careful with distributing her personal number is imperative.

Even though the cyberbully contacted your child online or on the phone, knowing there is a case against him/her may make the bully start to harass the victim in school. Although the school district should make the bully change schools, there will be strong resistance to forcing another child to leave. You will have to move your child to another school. This may be difficult initially, but your child will feel less anxious knowing that his/her bully is far away, and unable to cause any harm.

"Bullies need an audience. If you make the bystanders responsible, the bullying stops," states Maloney. He refers to a new program discussing change and how to stop bullying in schools and on the Internet. Making schools and Internet forums a community, enables bullying/cyberbullying to decrease.

Other bullying resources
  1. Target Bullying Research Lab www.targetbully.com

  2. Bullying Research Network http://brnet.enl.edu

  3. Tips to Help When Your Child is Bullied Online : http://www.education.com/reference/article/Ref_Internet_Safety_News/

  4. Pro Bono Lawyers http://www.probono.net/

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