If I am beaten and bullied by kids ages 9-15 and I am 17 am I allowed to hit back?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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If I am beaten and bullied by kids ages 9-15 and I am 17 am I allowed to hit back?

I have been getting beaten by kids on the bus, It has left bruising
and swelling, I have told the school about the issue and nothing has
been done. When I ride the bus I usually sit in my own seat and try to
relax on the ride home. I have recently been called names and hit by
multiple kids and it hurts. please help

Asked on May 25, 2018 under Personal Injury, Wisconsin


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

If you are physically attacked, as you indicate you are, you may legally use an appropriate or proportionate amount of force to defend yourself and stop the attack: the law recognizes a right to self defense. However, some limitations:
1) You cannot use force in response to verbal harassment or online bullying.
2) You can only use force to defend yourself--that is, to stop an attack. You cannot use it to retaliate against someone for having hit you: if they hit you once then stop, you don't get to hit them back.
3) While you are not guilty if assault if you use force in self defense, your school may have "zero tolerance" for any violence and could punish you for defending yourself: just because something would not be a crime does not mean a school cannot disciline you for it.
Note that assault is a crime: if another student hits you you could file a police report and look to press charges.
If you are being bullied due to race, color, national origin, sex, religion, or disability and the school allows it, you may be experiencing illegal discrimination and you (or more properly your legal guardians, since you are a minor) could potentially bring an discrimination lawsuit; you might also be able to do so if this is sexual orientation-based bullying.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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