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Our Clients Ask Us: Bullying

Q: One of our neighbors is complaining that their child is being bullied by other children at the pool. As an Association, is there anything we can do to stop this?

ANSWER: Possibly. Most Associations with common amenities such as pools, playgrounds, tennis courts, etc., establish reasonable rules and regulations for the use of such facilities. Included in these rules may be a requirement that users of these amenities may not bully or harass other users/owners. In addition, the Association should have a requirement that those under a certain age (i.e. 14) must be closely supervised by an adult at all times. Supervision will often alleviate some of the harassing behavior. If there continues to be bullying or severe harassment, a blanket complaint of “Joe’s kid is bullying my kid” is not sufficient for the Association to intervene. First, the Association should encourage the parties to address it amongst themselves, if the Association does not need to be involved, then it should not be involved. Second, ensure that the complainant documents the dates, times and descriptions of the incidents, in writing, signed by the complainant. Rather than “he is being a bully”, we need “he pushed Billy on 6/4/14 at 12:35pm, and was reprimanded by the lifeguard.” This may be grounds for the Association to intervene and move forward with a suspension of rights for improper behavior or horseplay at the pool or being a nuisance.

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