The parents of a Palm Beach County middle school student on Friday filed a lawsuit against the Palm Beach County School District for violating its own policies and failing to protect a student from bullying.
The incidents that launched the lawsuit occurred at Don Estridge High Tech Middle School in Boca Raton in 2010, according to attorney Barry Silver.
“We were attempting to try to resolve it [in the interim] but that didn’t work so we needed to file a lawsuit,” he said.
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The aggressor was identified as the son of a principal at another school at the time. The victim’s parents accused him of beating their son and taking his iPod, his wallet and more than $300 among other things over a period of months during the daily school bus ride, according to the lawsuit.
The Sun Sentinel is not identifying the victim, the aggressor nor their parents because they are juveniles.
The 14-year-old victim’s parents claimed that despite their urgings, the assistant principal at Don Estridge did not act fast enough to protect their child from the accused bully.
The lawsuit claims the assistant principal did not intercede until the student and his mother came to school to file a formal written complaint.
The suit cites interoffice e-mails requesting school bus videos and other evidence as part of the investigative process. The 14-year-old’s parents said this slowed school officials’ response while their son was being terrorized.
The pattern of abuse also was blamed for the student’s declining grades, according to the lawsuit.
The suit is seeking more than $15,000 in damages and claims the School Board was negligent for failing to protect the student from bullying. It also accuses the bully’s parents of negligence for failing to prevent their son from “stalking, extorting and attacking” his schoolmate.
School district spokeswoman Vickie Middlebrooks said the district does not comment on lawsuits and will be responding in court.
“The school district takes bullying seriously and provides training district wide to eliminate it,” she said.
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