How to deal with bullies: Sue the parents?

This mom is sueing a third grader, his parents, and the school for the bullying her son suffered during this last school year. She's asking for $50,000 dollars in total. The mother says that her son was punched, kicked, choked, and spit on multiple times during the school year. She talked to the school, the boys parents, and even filed police reports in order to try and make it stop. She never really asked the police to step in, she just wanted the incidents documented so there was a third party record of what happened. In the final incident before the lawsuit was filed her son was elbowed in the forehead because the bully "though he was dumb for calling the police"

I don't really know how to feel about this. On the one hand, I applaud this mother for stepping in and not letting her sons problems fall between the cracks. Her boy will know that he isn't alone and shouldn't feel ashamed of himself just because he's been bullied. Maybe it will be a lesson to schools that chronic bullying is serious and need to be handled differently then an occasional teasing. On the other hand, I don't really understand how $50,000 would help the boy at all. I probably would have just had him switch schools and do my best to re-build his self confindence.

What do you think?

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/suburbs/…

03
    06/19/14
    Beth
    I'm with you. Very conflicted on this. I think it's important that this Mom's son sees that she's in his corner... but I'm not sure a lawsuit is the way to do it.
    0
      06/19/14
      4Katie
      Good for the mom. Parents who let their kids get away with doing stuff like this are awful. Maybe it will be a wakeup call for the parents to discipline their kid. School should be a safe place where you can go to get an education. Kids should not be in fear of being physically abused while going to school. This is so much more than bullying too, it is physical abuse. I am glad the parents are helping their child and I wish the school and other parents would step up as well.
      0
        06/19/14
        5Tabitha
        If this was a weekly occurrence, why did she wait until the school year was over to get help from the law? I would have pulled my kid out of that school after a month of no solutions happening.
        1
        06/19/14
        Beth
        Totally agree!!!
        0
        06/19/14
        5Tabitha
        And furthermore. Sueing the child bully will do ABSOLUTELY no good. His parents will have to bail him out, that doesn't teach the child a thing. How is kid supposed to come up with $50k??
        0
        06/19/14
        4Katie
        It is supposed to teach the parents a lesson, not the child. It teaches the parents that they need to parent their child.
        1
        06/19/14
        5Tabitha
        Yes the parents are clearly not doing something, but the kid needs to learn a lesson or it won't change.
        0
        06/19/14
        4Katie
        I think the parents are the only ones who can teach that lesson and make it stick. If the parents wont do anything about it then nothing will change.
        0
        06/19/14
        7Malena Hall
        The lawsuit may teach the parents a lesson. Rather it teaches the kid a lesson is up to the parents. What I mean is if the parents just pay the fine and don't give any of the responsibility to kid, kid will learn nothing except mom and dad will bail me out. But parents can be a bit of a hard a$$ and make kid pay all or a portion back (enough that kid is going to notice) that can teach him a lesson.
        1
          06/19/14
          Will I let my child get bullied over and over again to keep records and use em later no .. I would stand up for my kid from the first instance I would do everything possible to ensure my child is safe and the school and bullying kids get the message including getting cops involved if need be. Money holds no value in such cases life is tough I would teach my kid how to stand up for herself .. How many people will the mom sue ? someday it will end and once the kid is out in the real world on his own what then ? .. I don't believe money is the only way to make people understand I think there are other more amicable ways to create pressure and get your child safe. This is not an ego war one needs to win these are life lessons.
          0
            06/19/14
            I don't think it has to do with money very much, although I don't know the mother.

            Here's the thing, cops usually will not get involved in school matters unless the school involves them. Sad, weird and true.

            It sounds like the mother appealed to whoever she could to get it resolved to no avail. Our kids deserve a safe environment in school and he wasn't given one.

            My guess is this isn't about the money at all. It is about making the school crack down on bullying and putting the financial penalty on them in order to enforce that.

            Chances are this lawsuit will go nowhere. That's a sad fact. This isn't the first time a parent has tried to sue a school for a situation like this.
            0
              06/20/14
              I wonder if $50k isn't just a number to grab attention? Reasonable, because it's not in the millions, but enough to cause a stir.

              If there aren't adequate things in place to protect my child, I will move heaven and earth to make sure someone picks up the slack and fixes it.
              0
                07/17/14
                I was talking about this with Erik. My opinion is that if the mom wins the lawsuit, this makes a bold statement about how bullying is NOT tolerated...I'm sure all schools would take bullying seriously and have some serious repercussions towards kids who are bullying as well as toward the parents of those kids, the parents of the kids who are bullying might even give their kids punishment because they don't want to pay $50k.

                I think more lives would be saved, perhaps les risk of suicide attempts from those who are bullied because of their sexual orientation. Kids would be less apt to bully because they know their parents would be affected.
                0
                  08/13/14
                  Bullies are every where in schools so people don't think its so bad. I think the mom was smart about it. I don't believe you should sue people but the bible tells you not to sue your christian brothers or sisters it doesn't say don't sue unbelievers. So if she can get the money from doing that good for her. Even if she does have her son change schools that's going to cost more money. So getting the money would being a helpful thing. She wasn't being mean she was being protective and did it in a way that can help change what was happening.
                  0
                  About Taylor
                  Current: Chanhassen, Minnesota
                  Birth: July 26
                  On Moms.com since: Dec 18, 2013
                  I'm the proud mama of my daughter Avery, born on June 6, 2013. I'm 26 years old, I work from home as a graphic designer, I will be testing for my 5th degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do in 2015. My husband, Derek, and I have been happily married for 3 years.