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Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 102347
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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My child is under 18 and is being bullied by other teenage

Customer Question

my child is under 18 and is being bullied by other teenage girls and is being accused of several things that she either did not do or that are damaging to her reputation. Doesn't the private school have the responsibility to contact us as the parents and legal guardians of our daughter in advance of calling her into their offices. in other words, what are ours and our daughters legal rights? in short, shouldn't the school be required to talk to us first?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Ely replied 2 years ago.
Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. Please note:
(A) This is general information and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein. No attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. This is repeated in numerous disclaimers throughout the site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms; and (B) there may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my reply while I am typing out my answer.
I am sorry to hear about this situation. Is this bullying going on only at school, or also outside of school, such as on social media?
This is not an answer, but an Information Request. I need this information to answer your question. Please reply, so I can answer your question. Thank you in advance.
Expert:  Ely replied 2 years ago.
You haven't replied to my information request, so I will answer based on the information you had provided in the original answer, as I do have to log off in a bit.
in short, shouldn't the school be required to talk to us first?
No, they do not.
The school has the power of in loco parentis, meaning "in place of parent." This means the school can discipline students, resolve issues such as fights, etc, and do so without first involving parents:
"The school stands in loco parentis and shares, in matters of school discipline, the parent's right to use moderate force to obtain obedience (43 A.L.R.2d 473; 79 C.J.S. Schools and School Districts § 493; People v. Curtiss, 116 Cal.App. Supp. 771, 775, 330 P. 801)." Mercer v. State, 450 SW 2d 715 - Tex: Court of Civil Appeals, 3rd Dist. 1970.
The school does not have to call the parents when the students are bullying someone and can intervene and discipline as it sees fit.
Of course, know that the student can sue (or rather, can have her parents sue) the bullying students in civil court. Let me know if you need more information about this.
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