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What Is A School's Responsibility To Curb Bullying?

Pete Springer/OPB

A jury ruled last week in favor of a school district in a lawsuit filed by the parent of a child who was bullied. The suit was filed by the mother of a boy with Tourette’s syndrome, who was a middle school student in the Harrisburg School District in 2010. The student’s name does not appear in the suit and the media has not named his mother in order to protect his identity. The lawsuit claimed the district failed to protect the boy from harassment and bullying.

According to The Register-Guard, Portland lawyer Karen Vickers said of her clients, who are administrators in the school district,

They want kids to have a positive experience, to get an education — they don’t want kids to push each other and shove each other and mistreat each other … but let’s be honest here. Even if they want kids to treat each other kindly, that doesn’t always happen.

This is not the first case of its kind. In 2010, a Michigan school district was ordered to pay $800,000 to a student who had been bullied. 

Do you have kids in school? Did you have problems with bullying when you were a student? Are you a teacher or school administrator? What can or should schools do to prevent bullying?

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