Do I Need to talk to a lawyer?

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  #1  
Old 11-25-08, 06:04 AM
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Do I Need to talk to a lawyer?

My son was pushed by one of his classmates at his (Private Catholic) school on Friday. He hit his head on the edge of a metal bench. He has a big bump and hematoma. He was dizzy for a while and vision got blurry. The school did not call me. The incident happened 5 min before dismissal, the school assumed that I was on my way. I arrived at the office 20 minutes after the accident happened.

Yesterday, Monday, the principal and my son's homeroom teacher had a meeting with me. I felt that the meeting was to defend the school. They said that if my son did not laugh or made a comment, "you liked that" "your smiling to, (kid's name)", then the kid wouldn't have pushed him. Keep in mind that these are kids talking making jokes, everyone was laughing everyone was making comments to each other. The principal said that the school report will state in this order, joke was made, my son made a comment, he was "accidentally" pushed.

Yesterday during recess, the principal called my son to have him fill up a statement of what happened. While my son was filling up the paper the principal was watching what he was writing. On the question, "what happened?" my son wrote, "(kid's name) pushed me and I hit my head on the bench". The principal told my son to put a comma after his sentence and write "but (kid's name) did not mean to push me". Do you think that it was right for the principal to tell my son what to write? Should I be talking to a legal counsel about this? I will appreciate any advice you can give me? I am desperate, I really feel that the school is trying to protect the kid who pushed my son. Thank you so much.
 
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  #2  
Old 11-25-08, 06:54 AM
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First I just want to say there's always two sides to every story so just be willing to accept the truth if your son happens to be the aggressor in all this. Heresay is not allowed in a court, as far as I know.
Second know what you're suing for. There needs to be a specific thing you're suing for. You may also need to have some charges filed first.
I believe lawyers usually give a free consultation, if only on the phone, and your best bet would be to contact one to know if you have a case or not.
Good luck!
 
  #3  
Old 11-25-08, 07:44 AM
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Question accident??

I agree with shadeladie. Sounds like kids horseplay that went wrong. I do think the school official should NOT have instructed your son HOW to word the incident. Talk to a lawyer about how long you have to protest/sue. If you son has no lingering problem and no expenses, then I (my opinion only) would probably not take any legal action. Boys will be boys and if there was no malice intended, I would consider it an unfortunate accident. Hope you son is OK.
 
  #4  
Old 11-27-08, 04:47 PM
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There was no intent to cause serious injury and the incident was not actually a fight between the two boys. It was horseplay that did not end well. I imagine your son's role in the mishap was greater than he states. While this may be a singular incident, the boys may share a history of encounters.

It is important that your child learns from this experience. Horseplay at school is unacceptable. Why? Someone can get injured.

Basic rules at school are walk on right side of hall from one location to next, speak in conversational tone, and keep hands, feet, and objects to yourself.

Kids today are into 'dissing' one another. They think it is cool to show disrespect, disparage, and belittle others. Verbal horseplay can also lead to someone getting injured. It is important to teach kids sensitivity and political politeness early. Because of the rise in violence in schools, many schools are conducting sensitivity training for kids. If your kid's school does not offer such training, you can certainly teach your child at home about the ill effects of inappropriate and insensitive comments.

Most schools address horseplay in school policies. It usually reads, "No horseplay at any time." Many employers address horseplay in the workplace. Why? Someone can get injured. Thus, no horseplay at any time. It is important that children learn the potential consequences of horseplay now.
 
  #5  
Old 11-28-08, 12:35 PM
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you didn't give us your son's age or the other kid's age.
has the other kid had multiple episodes where he "accidentally"pushed someone?
has your son had more than his share of being "pushed?"

you have heard several responses from people. consider those to be a cheap focus group. it seems men will not be sympathetic to your son's case, unless the other kid is a known violent creep. if he is just a regualr kid, you lose.

finally, what did the school do wrong where they could, and should, have avoided this? i don't see it, unless the other kid is a well known violent bully, in which case i would sue his parents, and maybe the school.

the defense to this case is very easy, and the guys will understand it:
boys will be boys
no harm, no foul

finally, the school most likely has insurance, so there was no need for the principle to pad the report, and, besides, who will take the statement of a little kid anyway as the gosple truth, no matter what he says [pardon the pun]?

hopefully, your kid is ok; we all hope that. if, however, he is seriously and permanently injured, i would talk to a lawyer and look into the background of the other kid.

my two cents worth.
 
  #6  
Old 11-30-08, 09:07 AM
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Thank you so much for all the responses and advices. The kid who pushed my son has a long history of pushing, hitting, cursing (recess and during class) when he gets annoyed or upset. The kid has been sent to the office numerous times. This was the third time this kid had pushed my son. The first two incident, two different teachers have seen the kid pushed my son and other students during recess time. The school is aware of the kid's behavior. The push was intentional. The kid does not "keep his hands to himself". He got one day of suspension and whole lot of sympathy from the school. My son had never pushed, hit or cursed at anyone. He has never been sent to the office for any behavioral problems.
 
  #7  
Old 11-30-08, 10:09 AM
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What is the school's policy on bullying? If the school continues to be sympathetic toward a bully, then they are not doing their job. Most schools have a zero tolerance for bullying.

Dealing With Bullying
 
  #8  
Old 12-10-08, 07:13 AM
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i was hit in school

when i was in school a kid puched me in the stomach for no reason...i walked away and then about an hour and a half later i was talkin to my friends in the hall way between classes the same kid that hit me earlier told me to go the "f" away i told him no then he puched me for the second ime i then hit him back and we were fightin for a few minutes then a teacher broke us apart.. i as givin 5 days of out school sespeian for defending myself. now i would like to press charges what would i be able to press charges for and do you think i would even have a case?
 
  #9  
Old 12-10-08, 07:59 AM
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i hope your post was a joke, and if so, very funny.
if you were serious, i "tink he mughta punched yu becus uv the wey yu spel tings"
 
  #10  
Old 12-10-08, 09:07 AM
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it aint a joke

i was hit out of the blue and there was no reason for it an di got suspended..
 
  #11  
Old 12-10-08, 09:16 AM
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tomshaw, I think our first question would be.....when did this happen? Are you still in school and this bullying happened recently, or are you relating a story that happened to you perhaps 20 years ago?

As far as a lawsuit, even if this happened recently, I don't think you have a chance. Did you report this to your parents or a teacher? Its basically your word against the bully's. And like other posters have noted, there are two things going on here: (1) there are two sides to every story, and (2) boys will be boys.

Can you fill us in on a few more details? That's assuming that this isn't a joke as reisjdmd alluded to.
 
  #12  
Old 12-10-08, 09:45 AM
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this happend recently

i am currently still suspended and i this incodent happed december 9 2008, the fight happend in school and the superinenent and the principle called my parents. i can not attend school until wednesday december 17
 
  #13  
Old 12-10-08, 09:54 AM
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If you are a Minor, then the issue should be handled by your parents.

Most schools now have a strict "No Fighting" policy. Most times it doesn't matter who was at fault. You could always have turned and walked away, and he would probably have been suspended. Maybe if you had reported the first incident, the second never would have happened.
 
  #14  
Old 12-10-08, 10:11 AM
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Smile ok thank you everyone

i apericate everyones replies and i guess i cant do anyhting about it.. an dif i would have told on the other kid he would have hit me later for being a "snich" but whatever again thank you everyone
 
  #15  
Old 12-11-08, 04:27 AM
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tomshawjr4:

What your PARENTS need to do is call the principal and make an appointment, insisting it be BEFORE the end of your suspension, and further insisting it be THAT VERY DAY. If they cannot get the appointment, they need to escalate it to the next level up, however that is organized in your school system. Then they need to bring YOU with them at that appointment and have YOU explain the entire sequence of events in detail, TRUTHFULLY. You need to follow this up with an explanation that you NOW understand that your defensive reaction to the abuse was the incorrect step, and that you APOLOGIZE for it (expressing it clearly that you assert that you were acting in defense and that the apology is to the authority of the school for not following the procedures and policies). Then your parents need to explain (in firm terms) that they expect that the matter regarding the abuses YOU incurred shall be taken care of in appropriate proportion. They then need to add that if the matter happens again, YOU have been instructed to not react back to the abuse, and report the matter to the principals office as soon as possible, as well as to them (parents) and that they will then be seeking another appointment.

Do not ask for the suspension to be lifted. Instead, spend the time practice your spelling (or any other school work). It may be possible for you to call your teachers and ask what assignments have been made in the classes you have missed. You should work on those in your time out of school.
 
  #16  
Old 12-11-08, 07:54 AM
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i've been following this thread and i have to say that there is beginning to be somthing otherworldly about all of this.
we are dealing with boys [it seems the ages are not given] who happen to fight with one another [surprise, surprise].
it is always the other guy's fault. it seems that the punchee cannot either defend himself or just simply cannot take it like a man, but has to involve mommy and daddy and the school officials, with questions about lawyers and lawsuits and the law. well, guess what. in the real world of grownups there will be bullies that will "punch" someone. this can be unfair promotions at work or dirty job assignments or a gross lack of appreciation for efforts. it can be a neighbor who mows his lawn at 6 am. most of these things are difficult to deal with, but you either learn to make peace with the bully or put up with it. why not learn this lesson at an early age because there will be no mommy to go to the principle when you are out there in the grown up world.
as for the law, the punchee may try sue the punchor for the intentional tort of assault and battery, but this will likely not be covered by the punchor's parents' homeowners insurance, and, as for suing the parents directly, i doubt if the parents would be personally responsible for this anyway, except for a very nominal sum of money [certainly the law in our state]. all state laws tend to be different and i have no idea of the states of the punchees in this thread. again, i say all of this this is correct, unless the punchor has a strong history of being a frequent and violent punchor. in that case the parents may be liable for failure to control and failure to take reasonable steps to keep people at large safe. bottom line: given all of the crapola going on in the world, the case of the insulted punchee is not a sympathetic one, unless the punchee is seriously and permanently injured by a known repeated violent punchor. there is nothing more that can be said about this all too common problem. perhaps all little boys should be forced to take large doses of prozac! and, perhaps a little prozac for the punchee's parents wouldn't hurt either. i'm sure the vice-principle is already taking his.
 
  #17  
Old 12-12-08, 03:00 AM
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oh so in your words the OPs son should just suck it up. would you have said the same thing if your son was minding his own business and some school bully pushed your kid into the street and got hit by a car. would you tell your son to suck it up be a man or would you go after the kid who pushed your kid and demand answers from the school if you son was suspended cause of it and the bully got a slap on the wrist.
 
  #18  
Old 12-12-08, 07:05 PM
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Many schools, along with zero tolerance, will suspend both parties if the victim returned the aggressors punch with a counter-punch. Agree or not, that is the rule in my school district.

Something was said or implied toward the aggressor which triggered the initial punch.
 
  #19  
Old 12-15-08, 07:50 AM
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i don't know how we got to the case of a kid being pushed in front of a car and being injured. if this is the kind of gut level escalation that my remarks elicited, then i reiterate the prozac advice for some parents. i thought we were talking about a fight between two young boys, with no serious injuries.
given that, when, in all of recorded history, has any punchee ever said: it was my fault?
it is ALWAYS the other guy's fault. "i was just minding my own business and he started picking on me and when i gently suggested he stop, because his behavior was non-conducive to a mutually nurturing environment, he punched me, for no reason at all." does this sound familiar? it is always the other guy's fault.
it would take the wisdom of solomon to always be fair to the punchee. sometimes teachers and principals wil make mistakes. sometimes the parents of the punchee will also make mistakes. the better course is to let the kids take care of it, unless, as i said about a hundred million times now, the punchor has a known violent history, or the punchee was seriously injured. that would change everything. other than that, boys will be boys, if you let 'em.
 
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