Parents of bullied kids can sue school, advisor says

Parents of bullied kids can sue school, advisor says

Pupils who are bullied in schools may be able to seek redress in court, the Children’s Commissioner’s principal advisor Janis Carroll-Lind says.

Parents of kids could sue schools which failed to act when their children were bullied, Dr Carroll-Lind told a forum on bullying in Auckland yesterday.

“Schools had both a duty of care to their children and a fiduciary obligation similar to a doctor-patient relationship.”

She said there was the potential to go to court if schools were found to have breached their duty of care, The New Zealand Herald reported.

If doctors, school counsellors and psychologists working with young people could prove that a young person’s health was affected because of the bullying, there was the potential for the courts to deal with the case, Dr Carroll-Lind said.

A girl in Australia was recently awarded compensation after being bullied from the age of eight. Her parents had to move her to an expensive private school after the bullying came to light.

Schools needed to be much more consistent in their responses to bullying, Dr Carroll-Lind said.