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How do I file a lawsuit against a teacher or school? Is it going to get me anywhere?

Pompano Beach, FL |
Filed under: Lawsuits and disputes

A teacher called me yesterday to complain about my 14-year-old son's homework and asked that he stay after school to do his homework and that I pick him up at 4:30. Soon after my son called me so that I could go get him because the teacher left him alone and went home. When I got to the school, he was the only child there and broke down and cried telling me how much his teacher has been verbally abusing him for weeks, yelling at him, clapping her hands in his face, threatening to slap him, and using improper words. He's been crying all evening yesterday for the humiliation he's been the object of. My son does not have a very long attention span and gets distracted often but that's no reason to bully a child.

Attorney Answers 3

Posted

A teacher cannot not and should not leave a student alone after school by themselves. There are various things that you may be able to do; however, more information would be needed before proceeding. Is this a public or private school? Were any other children or adults or employees of the schools around the child when he was left? Luckily he was not harmed. You could pursue a complaint against the teacher possibly with the school and maybe with the Department of Ed. Many schools now have anti bullying in place. So in summation, more facts are needed but if he was all by himself and the teacher just left him there that appears on its face to be negligent. There may be a possible criminal charge for child abuse. The child does not have to be injured just be placed in a situation where harm could take place. IYou should go over with an attorney fully.

Every case is different do not rely upon this information until you have actually spoken to an attorney of your choice so that all of the facts can be reviewed.

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2 comments

Asker

Posted

This is a public school.

Steve Rossi

Steve Rossi

Posted

Good. Usually that enables you to do much more than in a private school setting. Since for example public schools usually have their own investigators that could look into this.

Posted

OK. I understand your frustration and anger at the teacher, and, if even part of what your child is telling you is true, the teacher should be disciplined. However, I personally would not recommend immediately seeking to file a lawsuit against the school system/teacher. The minute you do so, you lose all ability to communicate directly with the school system and find a solution that will stop the bullying of your son. Try first talking about the matter with the school administrator and school counselor. See if your son can be transferred to another teacher. If you son has a learning disability, ask them for an IEP to address his learning problems and provide a real solution for them that does not entail bullying or name-calling. Ask a special needs attorney for some assistance with this. Good luck!

Carol Johnson Law Firm, P.A. : (727) 647-6645 : carol@caroljohnsonlaw.com : Wills, Trusts, Real Property, Probate, Special Needs: Information provided here is anecdotal and should not be relied upon or considered legal advice. Every matter is different and answers given here are general in nature and may not reflect current Florida law at the time you are reading this posting. Please contact me if you feel you need additional assistance with your matter.

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2 comments

Asker

Posted

My son has been in IEP for two years now.

Carol Anne Johnson

Carol Anne Johnson

Posted

Please, tell me it was not his Special Ed teacher who treated him with such disrespect! Here is a link to the Exceptional Education Department for Palm Beach County; http://www.palmbeachschools.org/ese/ . The director is Will Gordillo, his number is on the first page. You should call him.

Posted

I would agree with Mr. Rossi that more information is needed. You should immediately consult with a Florida education attorney. There appears to be more than just the issue you are immediately concerned with that needs to be addressed.

I suggest you look to an attorney who is a member of the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (COPAA). Their website is listed below.

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