PORTLAND, Ore.- A school district in the Portland area is being sued because it said it did not do enough to protect a middle school student bullied and hurt by classmates.
The family wants things to change because, they say, their teen went to the hospital more than once because of bullying at Centennial Middle School when he was in the seventh grade.
“The first assault, she broke her wrist and landed in the hospital for that, and the last assault, she had a post-concussive disorder and now has chronic PTSD,” said the student’s aunt Emily James.
James has a video of another student hitting her niece in the head while she was on the ground outside the school. The video was taken by a classmate. The family has asked that the video not be shown to anyone else.
Now, her family is suing the Centennial School District, saying that the school had a duty to keep her safe and that “the CMS principal failed to take any further corrective action, offered no safety plan, and did not offer a protective order against the two attackers.”
Since then, the teen’s family says he or she has been cyberbullied, and the bullying videos have been shared on social media.
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The family said that the student missed a school year because he or she feared more attacks. She now goes to school at home.
“It’s relentless,” James said. “It’s physical, it’s Instagram, it’s TikTok, it’s Snapchat.”
The girl’s family says that cyberbullying has also hurt her mental health.
“She didn’t do anything wrong and she doesn’t deserve to feel like she doesn’t matter because she does matter,” James said.
When KOIN 6 tried to get the Centennial School District to discuss the lawsuit, they said they couldn’t because it involved a child. But they said they are still “focused on the academic and social well-being of all students” and “committed to making sure they have a safe and secure learning environment.”
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Her family says they hope this lawsuit will help other families dealing with bullying.
“I don’t know what the next steps are but I want to see policy change, I want to see more therapists to students,” James said. “I want my niece to have the ability to have a great future.”
1 thought on “Portland-Area School District Faces Lawsuit Over Alleged Failure to Protect Student”
My child was severely bullied during middle school and high school as well. I had numerous meetings with school administrators and nothing happened. My child flunk freshman year because of the overwhelming affects of being bullied everyday. I gave her a cellphone to call me for help because the teachers and other staff never intervened. I finally told her that if someone laid their hands on her that she had my permission to call the police and together we would file for criminal assault charges. My child has PTSD, and Antisocial issues due to her time in the prison system of public schools.
She is a very strong person because she graduated with honors by working hard every day with teachers at lunch and after school. Taking on extra classes in the Summer and night school. She is now a University Sophomore and has been on the President’s Honor Roll every term. Her academic accomplishments attest to her strength of character and resilience.
The difference from public schools and University Studies is vast – how does a violent, negative bullying environment prepare children for college and or university? The answer is “It does not!” Our children deserve so much more from our school systems! Prison inmates get more protection and reaction to complaints of violence than school children but just like prisons the public school system tries to mute and handle the violence within the school walls in house. The slap on the wrist principle meetings, the suspensions (bully holidays), and the almost never used expulsion don’t come close to making our school halls, classrooms and outside areas safe for innocent, nonviolent students who go to school to actually learn, make friends and create happy memories. I feel the parent and students pain in this article and want them to know sadly, “You Are Not Alone!”