Legal Question in Legal Ethics in Florida

I have a 5 year old daughter who is in kindergarten. She has been being bullied by not only the substitute teacher but her classmates as well.

Started in October, 2012 she was pushed hard by a schoolmate in the playground and fell on the ground, hit her knee and came home with the bleeding wound. Second, her substitute teacher told her that she hated her shirt and asked not to wear it again otherwise, she will not come back to school. There was nothing with the shirt and very appropriate for school her age. Third, she was poked with an eraser and in the nose with a pencil with her classmate. Last, she came home with 2 red scratches on her back using a letter opener by her classmate. All of these incidents were never been reported to us by any of the teachers in charged during the time of incidents. The way we found out is that we noticed the injuries or my daughter tell us. The first incident I wrote a letter to the teacher and she responded stating she will find out who did the pushing and will send a note on not pushing. The second incident, I wrote a letter to the principal and the substitute teacher and agreed to meet in person to discuss our concerns. My husband and I met with the school principal, the substitute teacher and to our surprised they included the guidance counselor and the psychologist in the meeting. The substitute teacher denied of saying hurtful and inappropriate things to my daughter. Also, my daughter reported that the sub teacher slapped some of her boy classmates. The action suggested by the principal was to do the investigation on the slapping issue. The day before the investigation, my daughter told me that all of her classmate told her she got a nice shirt and gave her gifts even though it was not her birthday. All of the kids were in the good mood. Not sure how the psychologist did her investigation but she found no reports of slapping including poking in the eye and nose of my daughter. I donít think she asked the kids specific questions as during the meeting she had mentioned she will ask the kids the general questions not leading to any of the incidents. My daughter never got in trouble and top in her class. Even the teacher admitted it that my daughter is very smart and never got into trouble. Thatís why we believe her. We raised our kids to never lie and she would never lie and we believe what she said. We donít think she made these stories up as she was consistent with her stories and the specifics.

The last incident I wrote a letter to the sub teacher informing her about the scratches and the boy who did it to my daughter as my daughter specifically told me the name of her classmate who did it to her and I asked if they have reached to the boyís parents as this boy seems to be a trouble maker. Especially, a metal letter opener should be kept out of reach of children. My daughter said she was accompanied by her classmate (same age) to the clinic to put bandage on her scratches but when they came back to class, the boy who scratched her back lifted her shirt and removed the bandage. Again, the school principal sent me a letter response together with the undersigned signatures of all the school staff members (substitute teacher, the guidance counselor and the psychologist that they do not have a letter opener in my daughter classroom. Also, no log that they sent by the teacher my daughter to clinic. The school are not cooperating and the teacher in charge always seems ignorant of the situation. They never reported any of the incidents/injuries that my daughter has had experienced. Obviously to cover themselves, this is their defense not to be liable.

I am really concern about my daughter. Her regular teacher is on maternity leave so the school have been assigning different sub teachers.

My daughter is sweet, loving and caring person and does not deserve this kind of maltreatment, well nobody does. Please advise what should I do? This has got to stop and they have got to stop bullying my daughter and picking on her.

I wish I can come home after a long day from work hearing good things that my daughter is safe, happy, growing and learning not being hurt or bullied.

Please help! Can I file a lawsuit against the school?

Asked on 2/12/13, 11:49 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Barry Stein De Cardenas, Freixas, Stein & Zachary

I think your daughter may have legal claims. Seek some legal help from a personal injury attorney locally.

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Answered on 2/12/13, 12:18 pm

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