Wrongful death lawsuit filed against Polk County School District

POLK COUNTY, Tennessee(WDEF) – A Polk County School Board meeting became the backdrop for both questions and concerns and solutions in regards to school bullying.

It’s been a little more than two weeks since the death of 13-year old Jazmine Harris made national headlines.
Harris was the second student in two months at Copper Basin Middle High school to commit suicide because of alleged ongoing bullying.

During the public comment section of the meeting, a man stood up and asked school Superintendent James Jones what he planned to do about students who bully fellow classmates.

"If the person is bullied or allegedly bullied, we will then get their parents involved and the person accused of the bullying to have their parents involved. The more people we have involved, we think we can come to a better conclusion," Jones said.

But when Jazmine Harris’s mother Angel took the floor and asked superintendent Jones about why nothing was done to stop her daughter from being bullied, the response was different.

"I’m not ready to talk about that case in public," Jones said.

Superintendent Jones is not speaking publicly about the case because of a wrongful death lawsuit filed by Angel Harris. She alleges school leaders knew about the bullying but did nothing to prevent it from causing her daughter to commit suicide. Harris was visibly upset that Jones and other school leaders didn’t directly answer her question.

"With everything else, they answered what they wanted to answer and didn’t answer things that should have been answered," Harris said.

Kaylah Redden also attended the meeting with her mother. She was one of Jazmine Harris’s closet friends who reported the bullying to school leaders. But instead of taking them serious, she claims school leaders focused more on why Harris was wearing a nose ring.

"It kind of aggravated to us a little bit because her bullying was more important than a nose piercing because she was now just getting words said to her but they were also physically bullying her," Redden said.

According to Redden, the bullies were both girls and boys who were known as the "preppy kids."

Categories: Local News, Polk County

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