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Lawsuit: Child Perceived Gay Beaten And Bullied Daily. School Solution: Enroll In Sports

by David Badash on June 5, 2012

in Bigotry Watch,Civil Rights,Discrimination,Legal Issues,News,Politics

Parents have filed a federal lawsuit in New Jersey after their young son was continuously beaten, and bullied on a daily basis by students and even a school volunteer, who thought he was gay. Parents and their son, all unnamed presumably to protect the child’s identity, repeatedly spoke with school administrators and even two school district superintendents, but the response they received were merely for the young student to “make new friends,” “enroll in sports,” or to move out of the school district. Ultimately, the parents were forced to sell their house and move out of the school district.

“In Newark, plaintiffs D.O. and D.O. say they noticed problems with their child, C.O., who came home each day from Pine Lake Elementary School bruised crying and depressed,” according to the Courthouse News Service:

     C.O. eventually “indicated to his parents that his classmates were bullying him both at school and after school due to the perception that C.O. was ‘gay,’” according to the complaint.
“On a daily basis during this time C.O. was called ‘gay,’ ‘fag’ and ‘girl’ by his classmates. C.O. was also completely ostracized and shunned by his classmates and was forced to spend all time at school alone due to his classmates’ perception that C.O. was gay. During the aforementioned time period, C.O., was asked by numerous classmates, often many times in a single day as to whether he was ‘gay.’ The other students’ contempt for C.O. would often be displayed before large groups of his peers and he was constantly laughed at and demeaned due to his perceived sexual orientation.”
The parents claim their son also was harassed by a school volunteer and neighbor, defendant Lori Klein, the mother of B.K., whom they call the bully “ringleader.”

The parents say that after seeing the bruises on their son, and seeing other children, including B.K., yelling anti-gay insults at C.O. from their own front lawn, they asked principal Longo to do something to rectify the situation.
But despite repeated requests for Longo to help, the parents say, the bullying continued. After frequent meetings and telephone calls, they say, Longo “advised D.O. that he should consider taking C.O. to ‘another school district.’”
With the parents “desperate to stop the harassment and abuse of their son at Pine Lakes, D.O. and D.O. met with Director of Elementary Schools for the District, [defendant] Maryrose Caulfield-Sloan. At this meeting D.O. and D.O. complained that their son was being subject to relentless harassment and bullying due to his perceived sexual orientation. In response to their concerns, Dr. Caulfield-Sloan advised D.O. and D.O. to enroll C.O. in sports in an area away from the district so that his classmates would not have the opportunity to harass and abuse him. Dr. Caulfield-Sloan also advised D.O. and D.O. that C.O. should attempt to ‘make new friends.’”
But the parents say their son was assaulted again, this time on a school bus, with a metal seat belt. They say they contacted the former Superintendent of Schools for Passaic County and the Interim Superintendent, defendant James Campbell.

[Emphasis ours.]

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{ 2 comments }

dvelco June 6, 2012 at 8:34 pm

Thank you David for reporting on this. Makes me literally sick to the stomach. But.. we have to know.. it has to be reported. Please continue to follow this and provide updates.

I posted it to my LGBT Group on LinkedIn and also made a comment there to spur members to read your article and to make comment. I also scooped it at Scoop.It on my LGBT Times news mashup.

Link to group >> http://www.linkedin.com/groups/LGBT-Gay-GLBT-Prof

All LGBT+ and community allies…. please come join me and 14,000 of your soon to be great friends on LinkedIn. The member base represents 80% of the world's countries.

It is strictly professional office friendly dialog, posting and profiles / profile images. I've been told by many that it may well be one of the best run / managed groups on LinkedIn. It even has several LinkedIn top executives as members.

You can be as out or private as you like and I provide instructions on how to set those preferences (In the Manager's Choice area).
EVERY new member is placed automatically and systematically on a temporary 100% moderation to ensure that Right Wingers don't join and immediately spew forth their garbage. I have the ability to place individuals on 100% moderation at any time and can remove and ban people from the group as necessary. If removed for hate speech I report them to LinkedIn.

It's core value is – Visibility can lead to awareness which can lead to equality. Come stand with us and increase our visibility on the globe's largest professional networking site. Be a professional who just happens to be LGBT – or a welcomed community ally.

pattysboi June 7, 2012 at 6:09 pm

I'd be DEMANDING that the school principal AND volunteer immediately be fired, with NO benefits for the principal. If the school board wouldn't step up for the victim, I'd also be talking to EVERY media outlet in the area.

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