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  1. #1
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    Jun 2008
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    Default Advice About Bullying

    My question involves criminal law for the state of: CT

    My apologies on the length of this but it is needed.

    I will try and make this as short as possible. My son is 12 years old. He has had a tough time of it. My ex-wife and I have joint custody and he spends half the week with me and half the week with her.

    Now he has been going to the same school since he started. 3 years ago, he decided he wanted to switch schools to where I lived. (The circumstances surrounding this I believe are irrelevant so I will leave them out for now) Anyway, after he started school, his grades started to really go downhill. When I confronted him about it, he completely broke down in tears, and said he was being molested by another student. He said he was not the only one. I of course, went ballistic but held my cool and called the police. I then called my ex who then called the school and said we needed a meeting right away.

    Another long story short, we got nowhere. In the meantime, because my son came forward so did 3 other students/parents. We met with the police a few times, met with the principal, and met with the superintendent. To sum it up....nothing was done. I felt pretty helpless at this point and really just wanted to take matters into my own hands. I did not. I let the powers that be deal with it. NOTHING happened. The kid got suspended one day. My ex and I decided to remove him from the school and put him back to his original school.

    Now, there is this kid that lives right next to my ex. Real bad news, the police are there at least once a week, the older sister of the kid chases the mother out of the house with a knife every now and then. The kid has been "rumored" to harm animals in the neighborhood. My son was hanging out with this kid at first until he realized what a screwed up kid he was. After my son stopped being friend with him, the kid started to make his life miserable. He started using the computer, IM’ing him, emailing him, etc. I am a computer consultant so I set up a monitoring device to capture all traffic and conversations including the person in question. I brought those to the police. I was told that the police would speak to his parents but that is about it. Meanwhile, in school, this kid was getting other kids to push my son around call him names, just making him miserable in general. My son was attacked a few times where he had to defend himself. Everytime my son would win, the other kid would try and get a bigger kid has his friend and send him after my son. Very cowardly, malicious, and downright scary if you think about it. By the way, this kid was suspended and arrested when he was in the 4th grade for hitting a teacher with a pipe.

    This has been going on for 2 years. We have filed numerous complaints with the police, the school, his mother (which is also known in the town as being a nutjob) nothing is being done. A week ago, this kid lured my son down the street to supposedly fight my son. My son, not making a good decision for several reasons took up on the chance to hopefully end this once and for all. Well, this kid had another teenager with him that weighed over 200lbs. They jumped him, picked him slammed him on the ground repeatedly, stomped, kicked and punched him. Then took turns spitting in his face. The big kid even had the nads to say to my son “we respect you for trying to fight us both”. In school now, the abuse has reached an all time high. They sneak up on him and trip him, elbow him, call him a fa##ot, telling all the other kids he sucks other boys d$%#S. I mean, how the hell is this kid supposed to concentrate on school. I went up there to have a talk with the big kid’s parents when I saw the 2 kids leave the big kids house. I turned around and followed them into a wooded area that had a little stream. I walked down to the stream and saw one of them. The bigger one I could not see. I went up to this kid and I actually slipped on the rocks and almost fell into the water. I crossed the little stream to where this kid was and asked him “are you (insert his name here) he said “No, I am (Insert my sons name here)” I couldn’t believe it. He actually said he was my son. So I said “I am (Insert my sons name here)’s father pinhead. I then started to point my finger at him and yelled at him that he had better stay away from my son. He started to back away, slipped on the rocks, and fell into the stream. (I said “good, now stay there until I find your friend”) I walked around, called out for him, and just couldn’t find him. I went back to the other kid and told him again, he better stay away from my son and to tell his friend(s) the same thing.
    Well, I was arrested a short time later and charged with the following: Assault 3, Risk of injury to a minor, reckless endangerment, and criminal confinement. 10,000 bond.

    My ex took my son to the police right around the same time to report the assault and they said there was nothing that they could do! They said they would speak to their parents and tell them to stay away from my son. WTF!
    Again, sorry for the length, and if anyone, wishes to read all that and provide input I would be most appreciative. I was just trying to protect my child when the system is not working after many attempts.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    Toledo, OH
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    Default Re: Any Advice Please?

    I read all that, but you haven't really told us what it is that you want to know.

    Are you looking for advice about your own charges? What to do about the bullies? I'm a little lost.

    With respect to the bullies, you should take your son to the Juvenile Prosecutor's Office in your city and press charges.

    The police are correct - they can't do anything unless they catch the act in progress. The prosecutor's office, OTOH, can drag them and their parents into court to answer for their actions.
    I'm not a lawyer, but I play a researcher on the internet!
    Caution: I bite. WARNING: Do not send questions or complaints by PM. I'm likely to post them publicly and embarrass you half to death.
    I'm training for the MS Society's Bike to the Bay - and blogging about it!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    9

    Default Re: Any Advice Please?

    Hello, thank you for the reply.

    Yes, sorry about that, I guess what I am looking for is advice on both situations you pointed out.

    1. What can I do about these bullies? I have been a professional fighter for 12 years (normally wouldn't volunteer that info but it's to put it in perspective that I obviously didn't or wouldn't touch a kid even though it was tough not to when your own kid is being attacked by numerous people all much, much bigger and older and nobody seems to want to help.

    Could you elaborate on the juvenile authority’s option?

    2. Yes, I guess any advice on my charges as I never even touched the kid, and I really do not understand the criminal restraint? They never really explained the charges.

    Again, thank you for taking the time to read that and for your advice and any future advice.

  4. #4
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    California
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    Default Re: Any Advice Please?

    For charges to be pursued for these assaults, the police have to show that there is probable cause to believe the crime has occurred. When investigating this incident it is possible that there is no clear aggressor or that there are no independent witnesses to verify who might have the true and proper account of any incident. The school has a greater spectrum of penalties available to them than the law, and they have an obligation to provide a reasonably safe learning environment for your son.

    Have you asked the police WHY they cannot take any action? Have they forwarded reports to the proper prosecuting authority? Perhaps there is something that can be done to assist them. However, I suspect that if in all these incidents you get the same answer that there is nothing the police can do, it is because there is no clear primary aggressor that can be shown. I just cannot see that everyone is so lazy or uncaring that after multiple assaults they continue to say there is nothing they can do.

    In the case of your charges, just in what you wrote, the charges appear to be sustained ... in part. (Though, I admittedly have not looked through the CT codes as yet.) And if the one injured child's statement claims you pushed him down or forced him down, that might meet the elements of assault in CT. The "criminal restraint" likely occurred when you told him to stay where he was. At that point, you detained or forced him to remain someplace without the apparent lawful authority to do so. Had he committed a crime? Did you turn him over to the police for said crime? If not, then you arguably detained him and prevented his free movement by force or fear.

    At this point you might consider a restraining order if CT law allows it. You might also consider a civil suit against the perpetrator(s) as the burden of proof necessary for a successful civil suit is less than that needed for a successful criminal prosecution. Other options include sending your child to another school as well. if my child were being assaulted and nothing could or would be done about it, I would likely send him elsewhere or home-school him. Why send him back to some place where he will continue to be attacked?

    - Carl
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"


    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns

  5. #5
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    Jan 2008
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    Toledo, OH
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    Default Re: Any Advice Please?

    I just cannot see that everyone is so lazy or uncaring that after multiple assaults they continue to say there is nothing they can do.
    I'm actually dealing with EXACTLY this sort of situation right now. My eldest, who is a scrawny, artsy, gothy, openly bi kid, has had nothing but Trouble for the past several years from neighborhood bullies. The answer is always the same. "There's nothing we can do."

    School has a lame-assed "zero tolerance" policy, so if he gets hit, he gets suspended too, because clearly it must be at least partially his fault. I mean, how dare he wear a Cure t-shirt or a cloak or play in the orchestra? The nerve!

    The most recent assault pissed me off enough to take it to the Juvi Prosecutor after the umpty-umpth cop to stand in my living room, take a report, and tell me "We can't do anything about it".

    The case goes to pre-trial in a week.

    OP, you you need to have a chat with the Dean (or whoever handles discipline) at school and let them know you are going to have the bullies brought up on charges. Carl is absolutely correct that the school has a lot more tricks up its sleeve - including cooperating fully with LEOs.

    Then you need to get a copy of the police report and take it to the Juvi Prosecutor. If you have photos of the injuries, discharge papers from the ER or such, take those. If there were witnesses take their contact information. The JP will review the police report(s) and any evidence you present, contact school officials about the bullies, and decide whether or not to press charges.

    Mind, if the JP declines to bring charges, then there really isn't anything to be done but sue.
    I'm not a lawyer, but I play a researcher on the internet!
    Caution: I bite. WARNING: Do not send questions or complaints by PM. I'm likely to post them publicly and embarrass you half to death.
    I'm training for the MS Society's Bike to the Bay - and blogging about it!

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Advice About Bullying

    I am not sure how it works in CT, but it may not be possible to go to the Juvenile Prosecutor or the equivalent in CT (we use Juvenile Probation out here). And the police generally can NOT act on a misdemeanor that occurs outside their presence. Short of forwarding the report to Juvenile Probation or the DA, they really can only gather info. And picking on someone is not necessarily a crime - though it CAN be a school issue.

    Having worked as both a cop and in my past life as an educator, I KNOW there is a good deal that can be done if there are the resources and the desire. All too often juvenile matters befuddle beat cops (which is why the SRO is the preferred contact for these sorts of things), and schools tend to under or over react depending on their training (or lack thereof) and the fears/concerns of the school staff and administration. In my state the tendency seems to be over-zealousness, but this is not always the case.

    - Carl
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"


    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns

  7. #7
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    Jun 2008
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    9

    Default Re: Advice About Bullying

    Thanks for all the replies guys/gals.

    In response to some of your questions /statements.

    Carl, I have asked multiple times to everyone I have filed complaints with why nothing can be done. I really don't get a "good" answer except for what has been stated. "It wasn't witnessed by the police" Even though there were witnesses to certain assaults. Hell, the 2 that jumped him admitted it but said it was a "scheduled fight" Huh????

    And the police only said they will tell the kids to stay away.
    Law researchermissy, I feel for you. Trust me I do and I thank you for your input.

    In my charges, there was no injured person. He was wet from falling in the stream. I see the point about the restraint though. I did tell him to stay where he was.

    In response to your last comment though, in all due respect, this goes well beyond picking on someone. I think I pointed out many various situations that is not "picking on someone" again, no disrespect...I appreciate your reply and input.

    The primary aggressor has been shown. Off the record, the police have said the kid is a menace and admit that they are called out to this one kid’s house almost weekly. The school has admitted he is a problem. Like I said, he hit a teacher with a pipe in the 4th grade.

    As you stated;
    "I just cannot see that everyone is so lazy or uncaring that after multiple assaults they continue to say there is nothing they can do."

    That is exactly what they are saying. That is what they keep saying. That is why I did what I did. I am trying in every way possible to end this. It's not as simple as taking him out of school. As I stated, it was 2 different schools. One was sexual, so we removed him immediately but how can I teach him that you can't always run away from your problems, that there is people/resources out there that will protect you when there really isn't?

    Am I supposed to enroll my child into different schools until I find one where he is not a wounded antelope? Why should we keep running?

    Then when no other resource is willing to help, I try to intervene and the police were almost ready to charge me the assassination of Kennedy if they could even though not a hand was laid on anybody. But my son can get jumped, assaulted, and terriozed by older, and a lot bigger kids. One is over 200lbs for crying out loud. WTF?!

    I am sorry. I am extremely frustrated and I do not know what to do. I just know I will protect my child no matter what.

    Thank you again all of you. And any more input is greatly appreciated.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Advice About Bullying

    The greatest hurdle for prosecution is going to be the "he said, he said" aspect of this thing. Without an independent witness, no primary aggressor can usually be established with any certainty. And a "scheduled" fight is what happens when one kid calls another out to fight, and the kid being called out responds. This is what happened when your son got jumped. In legal vernacular, this is a "mutual" combat where both parties can be charged. Past bad acts is not proof of a current one, so the fact that one of the kids might have hit a teacher with a pipe once-upon-a-time does not prove he started any of the fights with your son.

    I can see circumstances where the courts might be impotent to act in some of the situations. Though, without being privy to all the details and events (obviously), I can't say whether the lack of action is entirely reasonable under CT law or simply laziness by one or more parties.

    In addition to seeking a restraining order of some kind, perhaps you can consult an attorney who might help you to construct a potential criminal case by establishing what must be done in the case of future actions.

    - Carl
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"


    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns

  9. #9
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    Jun 2008
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    9

    Default Re: Advice About Bullying

    Thanks again for your reply sir.

    Yes, I understand about the kid hitting the teacher. Doesn't seem relevant does it? I guess I was just trying to show the character of this kid.

    Man, It doesn't seem like it should be so complicated when there have been witnesses on multiple situations though.

    And as far as the mutual fight, well, that makes sense but when does mutual combats turn into beyond a one on one situation and him getting assaulted by multiple parties?

    What about the other times he’s accosted and pushed around? And like lawresearchmissy stated, he fights back and he gets thrown out of school because "self defense" does not apply. It's zero-tolerance.

    And unfortunately, it is not just an ass whooping and that is that. I know all about the scrapper way but this will not stop. I guess without witnessing it and not having me write a 13 page document with all the evidence it's hard for any outside party to put it in perspective. We just want it to stop and it just seems to get worse because the more complaints we file, and the more they know nothing gets done, the more it seems they get more aggressive and make more trouble.

    I will follow the advice here and do what is suggested and I thank you all for the time and advice you have given.

    I really hope something works out because I can only see my son suffer for so long. And he is mentally stronger than most. But again, how is he supposed to concentrate in school when he is looking over his shoulder constantly and just being forced into miserable situations?

    And I find it really messed up that these "kids" will be so aggressive and "tough guys" and then a little aggression gets pointed their way, very little compared to what they could/should have gotten, and they go running like little girls?

    I guess my statements get more and more irrational as I speak about this but damn!

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Advice About Bullying

    Well, I contacted the juvenile prosecutor’s office and they said there is nothing they can do. They said I need to file a police report and that they should arrest them and then it will be forwarded to them. Well, I have already stated the police keep saying there is nothing they can do as well as the advice on this board supports that as messed up as that is.

    WTF!

    Again, nobody wants to do a damn thing. Restraining orders are looking unlikely as well.

    I would really hate to get arrested again without answering charges yet for the first so-called assualt. Well, next time I might as well make the charges worthwhile. I mean, what else am I supposed to do?

    Is there anymore advice because this to me is just insane.

    Thank you again people.

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