I was recently contacted by a parent whose child was being bullied and threatened in school. She needed help and guidance. To say she was concerned is an understatement. When she had contacted me, she found out her son, who is not allowed on social media, had a page made up by his bullies taunting him. She also found out that at school, her child was threatened. Depression, alienation, and fear took over her son’s life.
As a defense attorney, I have defended children who had been bullied and retaliated, thus getting into trouble with the law; and have represented bullies themselves. who quite simply get arrested for going too far. Weekly counseling and a Judge’s firm words usually prevent the child from getting into trouble in the future. But, what can you do BEFORE the juvenile Courts get involved?
First, and most important, if you allow your child to use social media, closely monitor what they post. In my over ten years of experience in criminal defense, I know that police get so much evidence from a child’s online postings. Personal information should be monitored closely. I have seen young girls bullied relentlessly for provocative photos, boys bullied for posting selfies…monitor not just your child’s postings but their “ friends” responses. If you find an inappropriate comment, your child can delete that “ friend.” And the parent can use this experience to make sure their child is not a victim of bullying.
A parent MUST document and keep a record of ALL harassing messages, pictures, and verbal incidents. Children always have audiences, if someone tells you they say something against your child, document it. Dates, times and conversations. The parent who contacted me took iPhone pictures of all comments. She also was contacted by a child who was so troubled with the bullies actions towards her son, she came to her and told her. Remember Always document. If you need any legal action or need the school to take action, these documents are always useful.
Delete trouble “ friends,” and contact social media providers when there are hateful pages set up—or threatening messages sent. The providers can remove pages, and block messages.
Get the school involved. And NAG DAILY if you have to. Again, schools know so many children attempt or even commit suicide when they are bullied. Teachers, principals, and super intendants should be contacted if the bullying persists.
Get a copy of the school’s policy on bullying, and if they don’t do enough, contact an attorney to make sure schools do what they are supposed to do. If the school or the district do not take reasonable steps to solve the problem, legal claims can be made.
The author, Silva Megerditchian, is a criminal defense attorney based in Los Angeles, she is the Owner and Manager of The Law Office Of Silva L. Megerditchian. Ms. Megerditchian is a Superlawyer Rising Star (2017) and has handled hundreds of juvenile cases in Los Angeles and Orange Counties and may be contacted at 310-443-4119.