Harassment in schools is something that many communities in the U.S. have tried to take on. There have been more public awareness, commercials and stunts about bullying then there has been in the past. However, despite that, bullying still can prevail in a school environment.
Each school has a policy on how to handle a situation like bullying or other types of harassment based on gender, sexual orientation, race, religion and age. The school must be aware of the harassment, meaning that the individual needs to talk to the principal or a teacher so the school is aware of it.
Afterwards, the school needs to act on the harassment under their policies. If for some reason they do not act under the policy or fail to follow the proper procedure of their policy which damages the child further, then a lawsuit could arise.
In a school, a student is first bound to the policies of the school and what they have implemented and have to trust and rely on those in order to take care of the situation. If the school fails to follow proper procedure or the procedure or policy is not adequate enough to remedy the situation, then the school now improperly followed a standard of care they have set and could then be liable for a lawsuit.
Even if something happens inside a school, for example, there was a horrible fight in a Utah High school a few months back between two students where a student was severely injured, the school will most likely not be found liable for the fight that broke out. The school would only be liable if a teacher or administrator saw the fought and failed to do stop the fight before it got out of hand.
The school also could be liable if they knew of tension between the students prior and the injured student had complained before without any remedy. Then, as mentioned above, because they didn’t follow their policy, they would be held liable for their actions. Usually something like a fight is not “foreseeable” enough for a school to be liable.
The only person liable, if the school was not aware of the fight and had no way to stop it, would be the other student. More on this issue can be read here: Edward Dragan has a few more bits of insight that are worth considering on whether or not you have a valid lawsuit against a school: http://www.experts.com/Articles/Harassment-Hostile-School-Environment-Lawsuits-By-Edward-Dragan
Sexual harassment claims in the Utah Universities
One interesting area of aspect of this niche of law is what is happening on the college campuses in regards to female students making sexual or rape allegations against another student. Schools right now have policy in place to investigate the claims of the female.
Recently, Brigham Young University was under scrutiny and had an investigation conducted for whether or not they had an adequate policy and plan to curtail such actions. However, what the focus is on is the female and policy for the female. Many rape claims and sexual allegations claims can be false. Also, many males are victims of rape too, but given the current view of society and the masculinity of males, no one really takes them as serious as a female.
However, females can get males drunk and males can be victims of rape as well. The problem right now is most colleges and universities don’t have proper procedure and policy in place to protect an alleged perpetrator of rape which may in turn, lead to a lawsuit because they are discriminating against the male in the investigation. There is no policy in place to protect him from a false claim.
If you feel like you were discriminated against in Utah for an investigation made against you in a discrimination claim you should contact our firm for further inquiry about your case.