Updated on: 3/6/2019
In recent years, our country has seen a surge in public support to put an end to bullying nationwide, as this devastating form of child abuse has led to serious injuries and even death among students of all ages. The potentially devastating outcomes that have resulted from bullying and child abuse create a sense of urgency in deterring this behavior. So when a Gig Harbor, Washington family heard their child was subjected to abuse during school, it’s understandable that they were outraged and demanded justice.
Child Abuse and Bullying Statistics
Because bullying and child abuse have been getting a lot of media attention more recently than in the past, many are calling it an epidemic that calls for increased education and awareness. Others are simply saying that it’s an old problem that has gotten more attention because it’s being reported more often.
Either way, we can all agree that it’s a significant problem, usually with devastating results. According to the U.S. National Institute of Health (NIH), there are reportedly 282,000 victims of bullying or child abuse in high schools alone each month in the United States.
The NIH also says that teens in grades six through ten are the most likely to be involved in activities related to bullying or child abuse during school, which is a troubling sign considering how young of an age these children are being subjected to devastating attacks from their peers.
But of all the statistics from the NIH, the most concerning is the fact that the leading cause of death among children under the age of 14 – the approximate age of a tenth-grader – is suicide, or bullycide, as they call it today.
Statistics also show that students are aware of the problem, and they know that in our country’s schools. The NIH says that almost 50 percent of all students fear harassment or bullying in restrooms, and 71 percent report bullying as an ongoing problem in their schools.
Bullying Hits Close to Home
When so many children are aware of the issue of bullying and child abuse on school grounds, it would only seem logical that teachers are even more dedicated to stopping the problem and preventing the behavior. But in Gig Harbor, Washington, the family of one child is furious over accusations that the boy’s teacher not only allowed him to be bullied, but also partook in the activities himself (see video below).
Randall Kinney, the boy’s father, says his son told Randall and his wife that the incident with his teacher led him to thinking about suicide. District Superintendent Chuck Cuzzetto says the teacher clearly displayed “inappropriate classroom management,” and the teacher was suspended for 10 days without pay and moved to a different middle school.
The boy’s parents, however, felt that punishment was too light. Cuzzetto said that although the behavior was inappropriate, he felt it was “an isolated situation in an 18-year career” and the punishment was justifiable.
Seattle Child Abuse Attorneys
Clearly, these parents have a potential child abuse claim on their hands and could potentially bring a lawsuit against the district. Their interests will be best served by hiring a personal injury attorney near Seattle with experience in dealing with child abuse and bullying claims. If your child was injured or abused at the negligence of another person or entity, call our offices today at 206-727-4000 and find out if you have rights to a claim.