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What Every Target of Workplace Bullying Needs to Know

We Sold Our House To Get Away From The Dysfunctional School District That Tolerated Bullying

by Dan

Our daughter used to attend high school in the south part of Torrance, CA and had to switch schools mid semester last year because of bullying. The school only made the problem worse. There are a LOT of details, but I will only put some highlights here. Our daughter was bullied online through a social media site for months. We had made copies of all the threats and delivered them to the school principal. The threats were very specific and we told him that this other girl was planning to hit our daughter. They both played on the varsity soccer team. The only action they took was to bring them both in for a 5 minute meeting, then let it go at that.

Then a week later, the other girl attacked her. The girl went up behind her during lunch in the main lunch area, grabbed her hair, and pulled her head to the ground so hard that she lost consciousness briefly and we later learned had a concussion. Even though she had a head injury, among other things, the school didn't even call an ambulance, rather just had her sit in the nurses office.

Two days later, the soccer coach actually took a player and team parent vote on who he should kick off the team, basically making it a popularity contest, and kicked our daughter off even after he was told that our daughter would not be kicked off (she was found to have no guilt in the incident). The bully was eventually kicked off and at the end of the year, the coach was told to not let her attend the year-end banquet. When she showed up, he let her attend and also sit right across from our daughter, which made her so upset she had to leave

We raised these issues with the School District Superintendent and Board of Education, who ruled after their formal process was complete that the school had done nothing wrong. And that was pretty much it... they don't have a governing body to answer to. Throughout this ordeal, the principal also refused to speak with us or return phone calls several times.

We have since met other people who had bullying experiences at this school that were not addressed. Other schools have mentioned the coach should have definitely been fired just for taking a team vote, yet at this school there are no consequences for anyone.

We sold our house this year just for the sake of moving and not having to have our younger son in the Torrance School system. At this school, it was made very clear that they would never admit to any wrongdoing, or that our daughter was ever in danger, because they then could be held liable for what happened.

Comments for We Sold Our House To Get Away From The Dysfunctional School District That Tolerated Bullying

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Reply We sold our house ...
by: Anonymous

I am very sorry for what happened.

Sue the school. They have certainly breached their duty of care to your child. Also go to the Police and have that bully prosecuted. I am a Lawyer and can tell you without a doubt that you have a case on the facts you have presented.

Also you have probably taken your child to the Doctor or Counsellor regarding the bullying and the assault upon her person. This constitutes objective expert evidence. As for the concussion, I'm disgusted that no medical attention was given to your child.

You've done the right thing taking your child out of that horrid environment.

You could also try reporting the Teachers involved to the Teachers' Registration Board. I'll bet they'll be interested.

Please let me know how you get on. I sincerely wish you and your family all the very best.

Comments by Anonymous
by: Dan

Dear Anonymous,
thanks for your comments. I can address them pretty easily:
1. As far as suing, we have had many people say the same thing. What holds us back is basically that there is nothing to be gained financially from the school or Torrance school district since they likely have no $$, so we would incur the expense. There would be publicity, which would be a positive, but we still weren't sold on taking action.

2. The police were called right away, but wouldn't even arrest the bully, and then only charged her with "fighting" instead of "assault". An LAPD officer said he would have been fired for handling it that way. And because the bully is a minor, we have no right to learn of the disposition of her "fighting" hearing. So not sure if it was dismissed, she got fined, community service, anything. We weren't even allowed to attend the hearing.

3. For the Teachers Board, I am not aware of any such Board in California. Besides, the soccer coach was not a teacher, and the only other person involved was the principal. The Board of Education does not have to answer to anyone in the state Department of Education. Even if there were teachers involved, the Cal Teachers Assoc is probably the most powerful union in the state, so any action there would be impossible.

But I do appreciate your suggestions.


Further Reply
by: Anonymous

Dear Dan,

I sympathise with your situation.

If you do not want to sue the school, I understand. It is a very difficult and traumatic process in any event. However, it is an option for you.

With respect to the charges against the bully, the fact that the bully was taken to task is a good thing. It should make the bully think twice before doing something similar.

In relation to the Teachers' Board. As I understand it, a Teacher must be registered with the Registration Board before they can teach in any school. The Principal as a Teacher, would have to be registered. I'm in Australia, and whilst I work as a Lawyer, I do have a Teaching qualification. I am not registered and therefore cannot teach in a school as a Teacher, although I frequently go to schools to speak with students about law and a legal career. The Teachers' Registration Board would take your concerns seriously and would investigate. The Teacher would have to answer questions and certainly respond to your concerns. Even if nothing happens to the Principal, he or she was aware of what was happening and did nothing. He or she breached their duty of care to your child and so would have to answer for their action, or rather inaction. The Principal would change his or her action in the future.

In the meantime, you are doing the best you can for your child and should be very proud of that. Your child would certainly appreciate it. Take your child to a Doctor or Psychologist or Counsellor to get help with the impact the bulying has had.

I sincerely wish you all the best.

I am interested in how it turns out for your child and your family.

My thoughts and prayers are with you.

All the best.


Teaching about bullying
by: Paul Drakeford

The causes and consequences of bullying should be a compulsory subject in all primary and secondary schools and should be included in all teacher training programmes. The subject was never mentioned when I went to teachers college nor in any of the school staff rooms during my teaching career.

It is also a matter which should be addressed by government and the legal fraternity. It is a basic health and safety matter which can never be condoned or ignored by the teaching profession.

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