The Fargo (North Dakota) School District has agreed to pay a sum of $300,000 in damages to a former student and his attorney. The school district agreed to settle the bullying case out of court to reduce costs. The former student alleges that he was bullied in the school system by other students from the 5th through the 9th grade.
The former student is now 21. The student left the Fargo public school system, but returned and later graduated from the high school. According to his attorney, the former student is happy with the outcome and that the school will be putting new bullying programs in place.
According to the school district, the claim has been paid by the North Dakota Insurance Reserve Fund. Mediation was used to help reach the agreement, which occurred late in 2010.
As part of the agreement, the school district has agreed to improve training to teachers and other school staff on how to notice and react to bullying occurring between students. Additionally, a curriculum that includes programs designed to teach students about bullying will be implemented at all grade levels within the school district.
The school district stated that it will develop a strong anti-bullying program that is aimed at preventing bullying from occurring and how to deal with it if it does occur. The school district will combine forces with staff, parents and the community in order to formulate effective programs, along with the help of legislators.
The lawsuit originally brought against the school district claimed that the district did not respond to the complaints of the student about the bullying and that the school did not do enough to punish those doing the bullying. The former student continues to deal with the emotional effects and ongoing depression related to the bullying.
If you are a California school administrator with a question about student/teacher safety, special education, accommodations, student rights, free speech or discipline, or school employment law, feel free to call attorney Richard Oppenheim at 818-461-8500. There is never a charge for an initial consultation and we can help you choose the best direction to resolve any school district issue.