For a high school student dealing with bullying, school may feel like a prison. Every day that they attend class, they may face harassment or worse. Classmates may call them names, intimidate them, physically harm them and make their life miserable.
Parents often can do very little to protect a young adult experiencing bullying. School authorities do not always take bullying seriously unless teachers witness and incident or there are serious physical consequences. Instead, they turn a blind eye to bullying that makes a student miserable and potentially affects their performance in class.
Yet, occasionally, a student who endures bullying for a long time might end up facing punishment and possibly even criminal charges. Why might the victim of bullying face accusations of assault over an incident in school?
The situation may involve reactive abuse
In a domestic violence scenario where one person regularly belittles or physically abuses the other, the victim can sometimes seem like the perpetrator. They may reach a point where they cannot tolerate what they have experienced anymore. When they lash out at the abuser, there may be witnesses present. Then, people begin to think of the abuser as the victim. People call this reactive abuse.
The same thing can happen in a bullying scenario. Some manipulative bullies intentionally try to provoke a violent response in the presence of others so that the student who has long endured bullying looks like the aggressor. Occasionally, such scenarios might even lead to a student’s arrest and prosecution for assault if they put their hands on the other student or engage in intimidating behavior.
A parent who is trying to make sense of why their typically meek high school student suddenly stands accused of a violent offense may need to learn more about the prior interactions that their child has had with the other student involved in the incident. Juvenile assault offense could cause a host of complications for a teenager with a bright future ahead. Parents who do not want an issue stemming from bullying to harm their child may need to bring in professional support and seek legal as they navigate the issue.