Bullying Lawsuits To Be Filed Against Hamilton County Department Of Education

       Two Hamilton County families will be taking the School System to court over bullying, saying teachers and administrators didn’t do enough to protect their children.
       Two children were both allegedly victims of violent bullying. One by a single act, another by a nearly year long pattern of harassment.
       "If we could increase safety in our schools. We’ll be happy. That’s all we really are trying to do is bring these issues to life," says attorney Gary Massey, Jr.
       The first lawsuit centers around Signal Mountain Middle School. There the claim is that one child was slammed into a wall and kicked repeatedly. He suffered concussion symptoms and has been out of school for four months. That family is seeking one million dollars.
       "Can’t read anything. Can’t watch television. I mean just you know the doctor says you need to let his brain recover," said Massey.
       The second lawsuit centers on the Center For Creative Arts. The claim is sexual harassment and bullying by a group of girls known as the "Ghetto Girls". This suit seeks $500,000.
       "It’s actually girls touching the boy inappropriately. Sexual remarks to him, but also hitting him, tripping him knocking him down."
       One school board member we talked to said parents should be held responsible for their bullying kids.
       "I just don’t understand, before it gets to the point that some one gets hurt, why the parents of these bullies are not called in and held accountable. Tell them if your children don’t learn how to behave, and don’t start behaving in school, then you are the one who is going to have to find somewhere else for your child to go," said school board member Rhonda Thurman.
       Both Massey and Thurman agree that when it comes to stopping bullies, the buck stops at the top.
        "It has to be a top down approach where there’s a tone set at the beginning that these incidents are important, and they have to be addressed," said Massey.
        "No matter where you are in life, there’s always somebody bigger and badder than you are. The person that’s bigger and badder in the school system should be the school administrator, they should be the one’s in charge, and I think these young people don’t know that enough," added Thurman.
        Massey says it could be a year before the suits see a courtroom.

Categories: Education, Local News

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