Can a person take legal action against their school for not responding adequately to bullying complaints?

Question Details: I know a person who has been bullied for several years and has made hundreds of complaints to their school. The school has failed to take any serious action, so the bullying continues. Is there any legal action the person can take against the school?

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Community Law Wellington & Hutt Valley

Yes, you can take legal action against a school for not responding adequately to bullying complaints.

The Human Rights Commission has published helpful information on how to complain about bullying, harassment, and violence and schools, and who to contact if the school does not adequately resolve your complaints. This is available at

If you are unable to have your complaint resolved by one of the methods recommended by the Commission, it may be possible to bring a judicial review claim in the High Court against the school. However, this would be very expensive and time consuming, and your chances of success would very much depend on your particular circumstances.

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