What is Bullying?
Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Both kids who are bullied and who bully others may have serious, lasting problems. In order to be considered bullying the behavior must be aggressive and include an imbalance of power and repetition.
- Imbalance of Power: Kids who bully use their physical strength, access to embarrassing information, or popularity to control or harm others. Power imbalances can change over time and in different situations, even if they involve the same people.
- Repetition: Bullying behaviors happen more than once or have the potential to happen more than once.
Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose.
Illinois Anti-Bullying Laws & Policies
Bullying has become a major problem, with many cases of children becoming withdraw, depressed, anxious and afraid. Many parents of bullied children have also had to deal with the extreme result of suicide as a result of constant bullying. Illinois has protections in place for victims of bullying. These laws cover:
and also cover cyberbullying. These are serious actions with serious consequences.
Illinois anti-bullying laws and regulations protect bullying on the basis of the following:
- national origin
- marital status
- physical or mental disability
- military status
- sexual orientation
- gender-related identity or expression
- unfavorable discharge from military service
- association with a person or group with one or more of the aforementioned actual or perceived characteristics
- any other distinguishing characteristic
For school related bullying – schools that receive federal funding are required by federal law to address discrimination on a number of different personal characteristics. Bullying may be a civil rights violation. There are several laws and regulations that cover bullying in Illinois.
- 105 Illinois Compiled Statutes §5/10-20.14. Student discipline policies; parent-teacher advisory committee
- 105 Illinois Compiled Statutes §5/10-22.6(d-5). Suspension or expulsion of pupils; school searches
- 105 Illinois Compiled Statutes §5/22-12. Preventing or interfering with a child’s attendance at school
- 105 Illinois Compiled Statutes §5/27-13.3. Internet safety education curriculum
- 105 Illinois Compiled Statutes §5/27-23.7. Bullying prevention
- 105 Illinois Compiled Statutes §5/34-84a.1. Principals shall report incidents of intimidation
However, confronting schools may not be your best option if you really want to squash bullying. Sometimes the quickest solution is to have an attorney confront the parents of the bullies. Parents can be held liable for the bullying actions of their children.
If your child is a victim of bullying, we can help. Contact a Juristpoint attorney today for a free initial consultation.