Bullying is an intentional act–be it verbal, nonverbal or physical–meant to cause harm to others. Today, February 26, is Pink Shirt Day in Canada, a protest against bullying that was started by a couple of high school boys who handed out pink shirts to their peers in school after a new kid, a 9th grade boy, was bullied for wearing a pink shirt to school.
In honor of Pink Shirt Day, I’m posting an excerpt from the article “How to Legally Stop Bullying” written by my webmaster and better half, Colleen Collins — the link to the complete article is at the end of the excerpt.
How to Legally Stop Bullying
by Colleen Collins for eHow
Bullying can occur at school or in the workplace. The harassment can be verbal (name calling), non-verbal (mimicking a disability) or physical (offensive gestures). Both children and adults can take steps to legally stop bullying, from the more immediate protection of a restraining order to the longer process of pursuing a lawsuit.
- Report the bullying at school. The child being bullied, a friend of the child, a witness to the bullying or a parent can file the report. The individual can file the report through a teacher, school counselor, vice principal or principal. Most schools have policies and designated personnel in place, including law enforcement, for either remedying the situation, working with the bully’s family or commencing legal action against the bully.
- Document the bullying at work. Work harassment is a legal offense under the federal employment discrimination laws. To strengthen a case, either the person being harassed or a co-worker who witnessed the bullying needs to document (through written reports and, when possible, photographs, video or audio recording) each of the occurrences (using dates, locations and witnesses).
- Follow your employer’s anti-harassment policies. Contact the Human Resources Department for a copy of these policies.
- File a restraining order. If you believe your harasser might cause you harm or violate your privacy, you can request an attorney to obtain, draft and serve a restraining order, or you can do it yourself. To find a qualified attorney, contact your county bar association. Make an appointment, and bring along your documentation of events and actions to stop the bullying.
Shaun Kaufman Law: 303-309-0430
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