Child is Being Bullied at School - What Next?

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My child is being bullied and I do not feel the school is doing enough about it. I have been in to the school various times to speak with Principal but I feel it is falling on deaf ears.

What should be my next course of action? I am trying to avoid changing schools unless it is absolutely necessary.

Paul Cott

Well-Known Member
LawConnect (LawTap) Verified
26 May 2014
Ballarat, Victoria
Hi Leanne,

Perhaps try the Education Department. After all, if the issues are not being addressed at school level, they would be the next level up.

Of course, you could always have a consultation with a Solicitor to determine some of your legal rights.

Hope that helps.

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Hi Leanne, yes your first step should be the school. They should be aware of what is going on, and I would be inclined to give them notice of the bullying in writing. Be as specific as you can about what and who the bullying involves, and where and when it most likely happens. I would also request a copy of their policy for handling bullying, so that you can ensure that this is followed.

I agree with Paul that a good next step would be the Dept of Ed.

From a legal perspective schools do have some liability for bullying in cases where it gives rise to harm. There are several Australian cases in which schools have been found liable for children who have developed serious emotional conditions as a result of bullying at school.

Schools owe their pupils a non-delegable duty to ensure that reasonable care is taken of them while at school. This means schools are required to employ proper staff, take reasonable care of the child including protecting them from the conduct of other pupils (NSW v Lepore).

However teachers are limited as to what they can do to intervene in matters occurring outside the school gate or outside of school hours. Therefore Australian case law has found that the nature and the extent of the duty a school owes is dictated by the particular circumstances, rather than hard and fast rules. In cases where a school is made aware of repeated, extreme bullying behaviour, their duty of care may be extended to taking steps to address such behaviour.

When a student is repeatedly intimidated at school and the school knows about it, then the school must take steps to try to protect the target and counsel the offender or offenders. Hence the need for you to make sure that the school is aware (and you can prove they are aware) of any bullying that is occurring at school.

Hope this helps.
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