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What can I do to stop teen girls from bullying my 7 year old daughter in my neighborhood?

Riverside, CA |

Every time my 7 year old daughter goes outside to play in our apartment complex she gets picked on and even physically hurt by a group of 13 to 16 year old girls. I have tried to talk to their parents about the problem and they refuse to deal with it. They always tell me that maybe my daughter provoked them. These girls are twice my daughter's age, how can she provoke them to beat her up and intimidate her? They have even tried to bully me and push their way into my home. Their mother has told me not to say anything to her girls when I have a problem with their behavior and to come to her. But when I do, she simply says "I dont care, I dont want to hear about it". It is not fair to my daughter to have to stay indoors all the time because these girls are mean and their parents dont care.

Attorney Answers 1


Some neighborhoods or communities have community dispute resolution programs that help neighbors mediate solutions to problems such as you have described. If yours doesn't and a civil conversation with the older girls' mothers doesn't promise to provide any help for your daughter, you could call the police. Threatening, beating up and pushing past you into your home are crimes.

You could also talk to the management office for your apartment complex. The parents failing to supervise their children's on-grounds, outside behavior may be a violation of their leases or complex rules.

If the older girls go to the same school as your daughter, you could talk to the principal. With the relatively new, federal bullying prevention laws, schools are supposed to investigate and act to prevent or discourage bullying between their students, even if it does not happen at school.

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I have called the police and they said because the girl I had an issue with at that time was only 13 there was nothing they could do besides give me an incident number and talk to the girl. Their mom is never home because she is an in home care taker/nurse and their step dad has no control over them. The girls are in high school and my daughter is in elementary school but they are in the same school district. I have also talked to the manager about this and she is contacting her lawyer to see if there is anything she can do. Is there anything else I can do to make this stop?

Michael L Rich

Michael L Rich


Get the incident number and have the police officer talk to her. If there have been other incidents, especially with the older girls (apparently) report them to the police too. Two California attorneys (one in San Diego and one in Sacramento) agreed with my answer. You could contact one of them to see if there is more that can be done. In Massachusetts we have a procedure by which citizens can apply for a hearing in the juvenile court to ask for a delinquency petition to issue against a child who has committed a crime against us. Find out if CA has a similar procedure or some other way besides calling the police to bring delinquent behavior to the attention of the court and thereby have the parent see that it is a serious matter.

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