If this story is true - and, I must admit, this student's version of events certainly sounds credible - this may be one of the more disturbing stories about school bullying that I've heard.

In a case that was reported in Baltimore last week, a high school student was apparently expelled from his school just prior to graduation, because after years of being tormented both physically and emotionally for being a "book worm" with a nervous habit, and having the school repeatedly ignore his calls for help, this student finally responded to two of his attackers by picking up a screwdriver and threatening: "I've had enough. If you leave me alone, I'll leave you alone."

The school's response: they expelled the student who was being bullied; the other students - it seems - were left alone.

To be sure, a student who threatens other students with a screwdriver should be severely disciplined - and perhaps expelled. On the other hand, it also appears that he has now been victimized again - but this time by the educational institution itself rather than its student body; in effect, the school has chosen to penalize this student yet again for the school's own negligence in failing to adopt and enfoce a zero tolerance policy for bullying.

Stated differently, it seems very clear that the school - had it been discharging its responsibility to this student's safety properly, this incident very well might not have occurred. And for that reason - and on policy grounds - I think that the school should be deemed negligent as a matter of law.
Jonathan Cooper
Connect with me
Non-Compete, Trade Secret and School Negligence Lawyer
Post A Comment