The Student Room Group

LAWYERS: Can I bring an action against my old school

I left this school 3 years ago. I was relentlessly bullied there and in spite of my complaints nothing was done and in fact the teachers often colluded with the bullies.

One of the teachers bullied me as well including name calling, public humiliation and unequal treatment in terms of punishments etc.

The school had responsibility of in loco parentis over its students.

There was also a failure by the school to recognise domestic abuse and in fact I was told not to discuss my home life at all with my supervising teacher while in tears.

This contributed to me having a prolonged period of anxiety attacks and depression that did not affect me before attending this school which in turn had calamitous effects on my academic, employment and social lives.

I feel very strongly that these failings should be formally recognised and would appreciate advice about bringing a legal action.
Reply 1
I'm no lawyer but this happened 3 years ago, it may be difficult to get evidence as that teacher may no longer be at the school and will be hard to prove. Sorry that you had to go through that though...
Original post by Anonymous
I left this school 3 years ago. I was relentlessly bullied there and in spite of my complaints nothing was done and in fact the teachers often colluded with the bullies.

One of the teachers bullied me as well including name calling, public humiliation and unequal treatment in terms of punishments etc.

The school had responsibility of in loco parentis over its students.

There was also a failure by the school to recognise domestic abuse and in fact I was told not to discuss my home life at all with my supervising teacher while in tears.

This contributed to me having a prolonged period of anxiety attacks and depression that did not affect me before attending this school which in turn had calamitous effects on my academic, employment and social lives.

I feel very strongly that these failings should be formally recognised and would appreciate advice about bringing a legal action.


And what sort of a outcome would you want from this legal action? What remedy would you be seeking?
Reply 3
Original post by Reality Check
And what sort of a outcome would you want from this legal action? What remedy would you be seeking?


Catharsis for myself and more importantly the knowledge that this sort of negligence and abuse would not be tolerated towards other young people
Reply 4
Original post by UWS
I'm no lawyer but this happened 3 years ago, it may be difficult to get evidence as that teacher may no longer be at the school and will be hard to prove. Sorry that you had to go through that though...


They are still there
Original post by Anonymous
Catharsis for myself and more importantly the knowledge that this sort of negligence and abuse would not be tolerated towards other young people


What about money...? Would you be happy to receive no financial compensation?
Original post by Anonymous
I left this school 3 years ago. I was relentlessly bullied there and in spite of my complaints nothing was done and in fact the teachers often colluded with the bullies.

One of the teachers bullied me as well including name calling, public humiliation and unequal treatment in terms of punishments etc.

The school had responsibility of in loco parentis over its students.

There was also a failure by the school to recognise domestic abuse and in fact I was told not to discuss my home life at all with my supervising teacher while in tears.

This contributed to me having a prolonged period of anxiety attacks and depression that did not affect me before attending this school which in turn had calamitous effects on my academic, employment and social lives.

I feel very strongly that these failings should be formally recognised and would appreciate advice about bringing a legal action.


You can either got to a law centre or see a solicitor for a quick legal chat.
Suing someone takes a lot of time and is draining.
You really need to do some proper research.
You cna contact these people who are specialists, but ts 40p a minute for the helpline. theres plenty of info on the website about he various ways you can take action against a school. Its a specialist area of law.

http://childlawadvice.org.uk/information-pages/bullying/
Reply 7
Original post by Reality Check
What about money...? Would you be happy to receive no financial compensation?


What I care about is the record. That for me requires a legal action without an out of court settlement. These types tend to end in compensation being awarded but I am not motivated by financial gain.
Original post by Anonymous
What I care about is the record. That for me requires a legal action without an out of court settlement. These types tend to end in compensation being awarded but I am not motivated by financial gain.


Just checking.

You sound to me like you've been reading too much amateur law on the internet. I don't see how any of your claims are actionable - there's some fundamental issues over causation, to start with.. Overall, this is not something for a court of law.

Rather than continuing to look backwards with anger, it would probably help you more to move on and look to the future - see how you can put this experience behind you and make a success of your life.
I can sympathise with you - it must have been so insulting on a human level! The things some people do, are so despicable and pitiable! I hope you've moved on for the better!
(edited 7 years ago)
This would come under the law of tort which isn't something I've studied since first year and isn't an area I'll be practicing in but I can try and give you some guidance. There's no reason you couldn't sue the school for breaching its duty however I don't think the courts would be too keen to find against a school in such a claim. Courts are very concerned with opening the floodgates so to speak particularly against the state. Add to that you're going to have a tough time getting evidence that shows that the school were not only aware that you were bullied but did nothing about it whatsoever.

As for being bullied by a teacher that gives rise to a different claim, against the individual, likely on the grounds of intentional infliction of emotional distress but you're likely to have the same problems ascertaining the necessary evidence. In both claims you would be bringing a civil action which means the standard of proof would be 'on the balance of probabilities' - this would essentially mean is more likely than not that the evidence you presented shows the school failed in their duty and on the second claim, that the teacher did in fact intent to cause you emotional injury


Posted from TSR Mobile
Original post by Reality Check
Just checking.

You sound to me like you've been reading too much amateur law on the internet.


Are you a trained or amateur lawyer? If you have any specific quibbles with what I've said I would prefer you to point them out openly rather than being uselessly condescending.

I don't see how any of your claims are actionable - there's some fundamental issues over causation, to start with.. Overall, this is not something for a court of law.


Cases have been brought and won on a great deal less. There isn't any explanation here and I am not convinced. I have records of incidents, doctor certificates and emails.

Rather than continuing to look backwards with anger, it would probably help you more to move on and look to the future - see how you can put this experience behind you and make a success of your life.


No one said anything about looking back in anger and confronting the past and moving on from it are certainly not mutually exclusive things.
Original post by Underscore__
This would come under the law of tort which isn't something I've studied since first year and isn't an area I'll be practicing in but I can try and give you some guidance. There's no reason you couldn't sue the school for breaching its duty however I don't think the courts would be too keen to find against a school in such a claim. Courts are very concerned with opening the floodgates so to speak particularly against the state. Add to that you're going to have a tough time getting evidence that shows that the school were not only aware that you were bullied but did nothing about it whatsoever.

As for being bullied by a teacher that gives rise to a different claim, against the individual, likely on the grounds of intentional infliction of emotional distress but you're likely to have the same problems ascertaining the necessary evidence. In both claims you would be bringing a civil action which means the standard of proof would be 'on the balance of probabilities' - this would essentially mean is more likely than not that the evidence you presented shows the school failed in their duty and on the second claim, that the teacher did in fact intent to cause you emotional injury

Posted from TSR Mobile


Your first paragraph is really interesting, regarding the reluctance of courts to find against the school. In the past few years of working with young people I've come to see a wide number of areas where schools breach various laws and what we would generally consider to be the 'proper' way to support young people. I agree, I don't think a UK court would want to open that particular door.

I believe such a case would have to be taken to the European Court and I do believe there are so many cases where the actions of schools would be found to be in breach of privacy laws and human rights.

As far as I know, no one has ever taken a school to task on this kind of issue before. I do wonder if the government is afraid that someone will (though they just ignored the EU ruling on the right of prisoners to vote, so you know...)

Whether the OP would succeed, as it was 3 years ago, I couldn't say - I'm not a lawyer. But the key to these things is proof (evidence that a concern was raised and that it was not dealt with and such). I can guarantee that if students started routinely recording the actions some schools and teachers took, it would be one of the biggest scandals in history.
(edited 7 years ago)
Original post by _Sinnie_
Your first paragraph is really interesting, regarding the reluctance of courts to find against the school. In the past few years of working with young people I've come to see a wide number of areas where schools breach various laws and what we would generally consider to be the 'proper' way to support young people. I agree, I don't think a UK court would want to open that particular door.

I believe such a case would have to be taken to the European Court and I do believe there are so many cases where the actions of schools would be found to be in breach of privacy laws and human rights.


As far as I know, no one has ever taken a school to task on this kind of issue before. I do wonder if the government is afraid that someone will (though they just ignored the EU ruling on the right of prisoners to vote, so you know...)

Whether the OP would succeed, as it was 3 years ago, I couldn't say - I'm not a lawyer. But the key to these things is proof (evidence that a concern was raised and that it was not dealt with and such). I can guarantee that if students started routinely recording the actions some schools and teachers took, it would be one of the biggest scandals in history.


Yeah as I mentioned evidence and public policy are likely to be the potential stumbling blocks. I think if there was very strong evidence then it would be hard for the court to find for the respondents on policy grounds but if it's more up in the air I think they'd side with the school


Posted from TSR Mobile
Under the Data protection act and GDPR a person is legally allowed to make recordings for their own person and family matters, common sense says don't use video in school because of pornography risks but I've got that evidence now. Article 3 human rights act. Making up process and procedures to suit them. I'm going to be taking my son's school to court and your right I've considered EU Court of Human Rights.
Hi everyone.

My sympathies to Anonymous #1, please do not give up in your pursuit of justice.

I stumbled across this thread as I was searching the topic because of historical abuse by a teacher.
He left the school many years ago, but is still very much in the public eye in that town.
The incident also involved another pupil, and was witnessed by over 20 others.
It led to 2 or more years of victimisation, name-calling, sever beatings and bullying, also involving the police. This continued until my parents finally had to take me out of the school.
I was also scarred for many many years afterwards, with bad memories of this.
What I would like to do is take action against that former teacher, along with the other victim and hopefully at least one or two witness from the former pupils. Although the exact date will be difficult to ascertain.

Any ideas anyone?

Thanks
(edited 4 years ago)
Original post by Reality Check
Just checking.
You sound to me like you've been reading too much amateur law on the internet. I don't see how any of your claims are actionable - there's some fundamental issues over causation, to start with.. Overall, this is not something for a court of law.
Rather than continuing to look backwards with anger, it would probably help you more to move on and look to the future - see how you can put this experience behind you and make a success of your life.

How can they move forward with their life if they have be damaged?
Original post by Reality Check
Just checking.
You sound to me like you've been reading too much amateur law on the internet. I don't see how any of your claims are actionable - there's some fundamental issues over causation, to start with.. Overall, this is not something for a court of law.
Rather than continuing to look backwards with anger, it would probably help you more to move on and look to the future - see how you can put this experience behind you and make a success of your life.

You are not considering the emotional and mental abuse suffered, it's not about looking back in anger or looking to the future without having the damage of the past acknowledged by the people responsible!
Original post by Anonymous
I left this school 3 years ago. I was relentlessly bullied there and in spite of my complaints nothing was done and in fact the teachers often colluded with the bullies.
One of the teachers bullied me as well including name calling, public humiliation and unequal treatment in terms of punishments etc.
The school had responsibility of in loco parentis over its students.
There was also a failure by the school to recognise domestic abuse and in fact I was told not to discuss my home life at all with my supervising teacher while in tears.
This contributed to me having a prolonged period of anxiety attacks and depression that did not affect me before attending this school which in turn had calamitous effects on my academic, employment and social lives.
I feel very strongly that these failings should be formally recognised and would appreciate advice about bringing a legal action.

I fully understand as I suffered myself except for me it was 33 years ago and it has completely messed up my life. I have been suffering mental health issues ever since, failed in employment and most relationships over the years. Don't allow people who have no idea what you went through tell you to not look back, or to pull yourself together and look forward. It's important to address the past before you can even attempt to continue with the future.

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