How to document bullying incidents

Learn about: How to document bullying incidents from Rabeh M. A. Soofi,...
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How to document bullying incidents

The first thing that a parent should do if you’re suspecting your child of being bullied is put together a written notification to the school. The written notification should include your name, the child’s name, the child’s grade, the perpetrator’s name, the perpetrator’s physical characteristics. For example, if the child that’s being bullied is a smaller child, a younger child, a child in a younger grade than the bully, you want to make that known in writing. School administrators and principals are like lawyers, police, and judges. Unless we see it on paper we don’t believe it. It’s very very important for parents to document the characteristics of the children involved. Where they were. What they were doing. If a child was physically hurt, it’s imperative for there to be photographs, digital camera images, video, something to document what’s happened. The written notification to the school should capture all of these things. It should not only capture what transpired between the two children, but what time of day it was, what other teachers were around, what other steps were taken immediately after. Did a child run up to the teacher and say so and so has been bullying me? What did the teacher do? What did the teacher not do? Was a report made to the principal? Why not? What were all these time frames that all these things happened in? The reason these elements are so important is because by the time a child bullying case gets into the court system, something horrible has happened. Children don’t end up in the legal system over teasing or name calling. It’s a serious situation. And when that happens, the lawyers and judges involved look at the history. They don’t just look at that one event. They want to look at what has happened in the past and how did the school address it at the time it was happening. If a parent can show that a school consistently fails to investigate, interview participants, interview teachers that may have been witnesses, and discipline the children that were involved, that’s when the parent can show negligence on the part of a school. It’s very, very difficult to have a school responsible for a single incident. 9/10 times the judge or jury will let them off the hook. It’s only when you can show a continuous pattern and practice of repeated negligence, a refusal to investigate, a refusal to hold the bullies accountable, that’s where you can show negligence on the part of the school.

Learn about: How to document bullying incidents from Rabeh M. A. Soofi,...


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Rabeh M. A. Soofi

Attorney & Professor of Law

Rabeh M. A. Soofi is a managing attorney of a Los Angeles, California-based law firm.  Rabeh spent most of her career at a large national law firm of 300+ attorneys representing Fortune 500 companies, multi-national corporations, government agencies, and other high-profile clients in multi-million and billion dollar disputes.  Rabeh has a broad practice which spans multiple practice areas, serving diverse clients including individuals, families, children  and numerous others.  Rabeh is recognized as one of the “Top Women Lawyers” in Southern California by SuperLawyers and Los Angeles Magazine, as well as being honored multiple times as a “Top Attorney – Rising Star” by SuperLawyers, awarded to only 2.5% of attorneys under 40.  Rabeh is rated as a “Superb” lawyer by, and ranked 10 / 10 for her experience, industry recognition, and professional conduct.  Rabeh has been recognized as a “Future Star” by Euromoney’s Definitive Guide to America’s Leading Firms and Attorneys.Rabeh has provided legal commentary and interviews on a variety of legal matters and has been featured in the Los Angeles Times, Public Radio International, Yahoo! Channel Seven, Orange County’s KM 640 AM, Random House, ALM /, Digital Journal, RFI – Radio France Internationale, Times Dispatch, Malaysia Star Online, National Law Review, Georgetown University Law Center, Lexis-Nexis, American Bar Association, Los Angeles Daily Journal, Iowa Gazette, and others media outlets.Rabeh received her Juris Doctorate from the University of Notre Dame, and two undergraduate degrees in Political Science and History from the University of Michigan. She received legal training in the City of Chicago’s Corporate Counsel’s office, and is an Adjunct Professor of Law at California Law School.Rabeh has provided over 700+ hours of pro bono service to individuals, families, and children of modest means, and has s volunteered substantial time and provided financial assistance to support a variety of charitable organizations, holding leadership positions in several, including  the Boys and Girls Club, Children’s Law Center / Kid’s Voice, Homeless Shelter Legal Aid Project, Mid East West Foundation, List Project, IMANI Aid Foundation, Mid East West Foundation, Heartland Pro Bono Council, Habitat for Humanity, Wounded Warrior, and others.

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