If a child commits suicide due to bullying is it the parent's fault?

Elsewhere on the Internet I had debate about whether parents should sue a school if their child commits suicide due to bullying that the school did not adequately address. Another person said that the suicide was the parents' fault because the parents should have been more assertive either in moving the child to a new school or pressuring the school to take. He gave an exmpae of what he would do if his child were being bullied, and now, I am reconsidering my original position that the school is to blame.

If it were my child that was being bullied, I'd do everything in my power to make it stop. I wouldn't push it onto the school to solve my problems for me, I'd take direct action myself. That's what being a parent is all about. It sounds to me like these parents wanted to find someone else to blame for their own shortcomings.

First, I'd make an appointment to see my child's teacher or teachers and principal to find out what him/her/they know about the situation. I'd outline clearly what my expectations are - that the school take every appropriate action to prevent the other child(ren) from being able to bully my child in school. I would give them a time-frame to have these in place, and seek a second meeting after that time has passed to discuss what has been achieved and what has not.

If I wasn't satisfied with the school's handling of the case, I'd refer it on to other agencies. That would depend on the structure in place - you mentioned a school board in one of your posts. I'd refer it to the district office of the state government education department here which is probably our equivalent. I'd refer it to the state government education department itself if I still felt I was getting nowhere. I'd complain to my elected state member of parliament to put pressure on the Education Minister in government. I'd go to the media with a "this mob of bastards aren't doing anything to stop my son/daughter being bullied in school". I'd go to the police and make a formal complaint, especially if the bullying had a physical aspect to it. I'd apply to the courts for a restraining (protection) order.

There's plenty that can be done, all it requires is a bit of work on behalf of the parents, rather than expecting someone else to do it all for them. And all of this happensbefore my child gets to the point of committing suicide.

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Hmm so what happens when you child begs and pleads for you not to go back to the school/police again as last time they were beaten up for you doping so

Having a civil talk with the parents of the child who is doing the bullying would be a good place to start.  But....they are often bullies themselves.  The child who bullies most likely has been bullied him/herself.


Blaming others for not preventing a suicide is futile.  Suicide is the last resort for the victim.  You can only blame him/her for the suicide.  The victim's parents naturally feel guilty and need to blame something outside themselves for the death of their child.  If only....we all say...if only I had done thus and so...


But the truth is:  The only people who can stop the bullying are the victim and the bully.  If parents know their child is being bullied (severely) they need to speak with the parents of the child who is doing the bullying.  Chances are that the parents of both children are not aware, or they often make excuses for their child's behavior.  The school teachers and administrators quite often do not know what is happening after the kids leave the school...or even in the school lavatories etc. 


It's a tough situation all the way around, and I sure don't think I have the right answer.  Just wanted to put my 2cents worth in.

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