30-year-old mother (name withheld in order to protect the privacy of the accused) has been cleared of all charges in an incident with a school bully that occurred on May 16 of this year. It seems that a boy at the school she and her brother attend had bullied her daughter. Incensed at what she perceived as unfair treatment of her daughter, she had her son identify the bully, at which time she was accused of choking the boy at the throat. However, though there were numerous witnesses to the incident, none of them could agree as to whether she actually choked the boy or if he made marks on his own neck and convinced some of his friends to lie for him. In any case, the mom from Santa Rosa will not be criminally prosecuted because the attack could not be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
While this story may seem rare, parents are taking instances of bullying more seriously than ever. There are numerous anti-bullying laws in California that define bullying’ as any action by 1 student or a group of students against another student that causes the student who is the target of bullying to suffer serious physical or psychological damage. Bullying can be effected, legally speaking, through threats (verbal or written) and/or varying degrees of violence.
However, if she had been charged with a California crime, it would have been charge of assault and battery (CA Penal Code 240 and CA Penal Code 242) attempting to enact physical violence on another person. Had she been convicted pursuant to PC 240, she would have faced probation or up to 6 months in county jail and a fine of up to $1,000.