What is the point ?

There’s a story on the BBC about the parents of a girl who committed suicide who are going to sue the school she attended. The fact this girl took her life is a terrible one but I cannot see what this proposed action can possibly do to make anything better.
It states that the girl “left the school a year before taking her own life” yet they want to sue the school – why not sue everyone else who had contact with her in that year ? Why not sue every professional she saw who did not pick up this deep emotional upset she was going through ? Why sue at all ? If you want to sue a private company then go ahead – someone will pay for that somewhere (providing the company isn’t vastly huge. A fine of a million pounds wouldn’t bother BP at all, but a tenth of that would hurt most companies) but suing a public body ? There is no point at all. You don’t prevent anyone else from going through the same – you just make the accountants and managers froth at the mouth for a while. And even they don’t care because it’s not their money, they still get paid, their lives change not one jot.
There is the argument that any money ‘won’ can be used to set something up to help others, and while that could possibly be seen as worthy, don’t we have enough charities ? That’s not to say they couldn’t use more volunteers / publicity but in the wake of such an event, they can garner such publicity and the people who come forward to help would not be affected by any extra cash anyway because it would not come to them.

In time if there is another pupil at that school who is at that same point ….. then the thought that it cost the educational authorities a stack of cash will not cause the intervention by someone else – be they a teacher / pupil / other. What will cause it will be simple humanity – someone who stops, looks, thinks then acts. Someone who takes that moment to care. Someone who wasn’t there for this young girl – and all the money that can be scraped from this action cannot put someone there either.

6 thoughts on “What is the point ?

  1. I think they are suing the school because the girl was bullied. That was the reason she didn’t go back to school. Presumably the school didn’t take necessary action to stop the bullying. If being sued means that the school will take bullying more seriously (which is awful, because the girls death should have been enough for that) then that can’t be a bad thing…

  2. We do not know the full story. However,It is fast becoming the norm in the UK that when ever Someone dies under tragic circumstances then Fiscal gain is sort.To what end? It is not going to bring the child back nor lessen the pain her family will feel. Schools have a duty of care, but where does that duty start and finish ? Yes bullying needs to be addressed, but they also need to know a child is being bullied to initiate action. Children for what ever reason do not aways make that complaint and there lies a problem. Schools can only act if they know a particular child is being bullied. Yes they have policies that state how they should act, but if they don’t know what can they do?

  3. Speaking generally, it’s a sad fact that people will sue over almost anything these days. But you can’t really blame the individuals for that (at least not them alone).

    As I see it, it’s a Catch 22 situation. The only way to make a company or organisation (even a state run one) sit up and listen is to threaten them with a monetary loss (whether that’s actually suing them or the fear of being sued). It’s the only language they understand. I know, I’ve had to fight a few state bodies in the past.

    They just do not generally take complaints from the average person seriously unless there’s a threat of loss to them involved. So can you blame people for taking the action that they do?

    IF in this case the school were at fault (and there are plenty of stories around where schools take little to no action on bullying), I don’t blame the girls parents in the slightest. I hope they win, and cause the education authority to pause and think about how these things are handled (or not handled in most cases).

  4. In some ways I do hope they sue and win.
    In others I would like to see them close this door and move on.

    Every public body has their ‘warchest’ for such damages. It is now built into budgets and as such if it is used or not has no discernable effect on the organisation. It’s like the UK saying it has no money yet can afford a war (Falklands). I can see the ‘why’ as in causing monetary harm but I cannot see that it will get a result. As such, the emotions for the family just keep running high and that will damage them at a time when they should be looking after themselves.

    Were the school wrong ? Very probably.

  5. The school may not have done enough to make its students and faculty aware of bullying and given kids tools to deal with such a situation, but ultimately the responsibility lies with the parents. Schools are often viewed as surrogate parents. Schools should not have to teach kids about manners, bullying, or even sex; these are best learned at home. Many adults abdicate their parental duties and point fingers of blame at the school system when things like this happen.

    My youngest son was the victim of bullying a short time ago. This school district has a very strict anti-bullying program. All schools are required to teach a course in how to deal with it, and it’s well known that teachers and playground supervisors are immediately available to help or take reports of such events. There was even homework to do which involved the whole family to ensure that everyone connected to a child in school was fully aware of the consequences that are involved with bullying. I could not ask for any more than that of my school system. Did that stop my son from being surrounded and kicked and punched? No. Is it the fault of the school? Absolutely not. I never once thought about suing somebody for this. I have only thought about identifying the little f****ers and confronting their parents and letting their school principal know about this, which I will do.

    This particular event is sadly not uncommon. However, I don’t believe for a minute that the bullying was solely the root cause for the suicide of this young person.

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