Can your child be charged with a crime for bullying?
Middle school and high school are difficult years for any child to go through. Children may have good intentions, but they also want to fit in with their peers. They also want to avoid being the target of bullying, and sometimes the way to do that is to participate in teasing or bullying themselves. However, you and other New York parents should realize that there can be serious legal consequences when children bully others, especially if the behavior resulted in harm.
In one recent case, a girl from Pennsylvania was hospitalized after her classmates played a prank on her. As reported by USA TODAY, the girl was severely allergic to pineapple. One girl rubbed pineapple on her palm and gave the allergic girl a high five. Fortunately, the girl recovered, but the three who played the joke are now facing serious charges, including assault, reckless endangering, criminal conspiracy and harassment. If the girl suffered a permanent disability or lost her life as a result of the prank, it may be safe to say that the girls would face even more grave penalties.
Understandably, you do not want your child facing criminal charges. One way to avoid this is to teach him or her the potential consequences of bullying and teasing. However, you cannot always keep your child from participating in unwanted behavior. You have the right to defend your child from serious charges. The information in this blog is meant to educate you and should not be substituted for the advice of a lawyer.