The parents of a Branchburg, New Jersey middle school student who suffered a complete emotional breakdown and was hospitalized with PTSD caused by “systematic bullying” have filed a federal lawsuit against a school principal and others, including members of the Somerset County Educational Services Commission, who were “totally ignorant” of the situation despite the parents’ repeated attempts to alert officials.
The family, unnamed in an article by Courthouse News Service, says the principal of Branchburg Central Middle School and members of the Branchburg Township Board of Education retaliated against the family and the boy, including verbally attacking them, filing “false truancy charges” and reporting “the family to the Department of Youth and Family Services,” according to Courthouse News Service:
The Ks say they learned that their son was being bullied when another student told her parents, who immediately told them, that their son “was choked almost to the point of unconsciousness” on a school bus, by a sixth-grader who had been held back a year.
The Ks say they promptly reported the incident to defendant Corby Swan, the vice principal.
Assuming, incorrectly, that the situation had been nipped in the bud, the parents say, they were concerned when they “witnessed a dramatic change in the personality and emotional well-being of their son [M]. [M's] interests in school, as well as his ability to concentrate and perform at school, decreased dramatically. His emotions and behavior deteriorated – - he grew angry and depressed. His parents watched as he was losing all of his self-esteem and self-worth; they saw the ‘spark’ having left him,” according to the complaint.
Eventually, the parents say, the bullying took such a toll on their son that he suffered a complete emotional breakdown and was hospitalized for it.
He was diagnosed with PTSD, and a medical report, documented for the school district, stated that the disorder was caused by “multiple incidents of bullying on the school bus,” that M. needed to be “accommodated with out-of-district placement immediately” and that the Branchburg School District had been “totally ignorant” of M’s disorder and situation for 10 months.
The nature of the bullying, other than details of the physical assaults, was not indicated. The lawsuit was filed in Trenton.
The New Civil Rights Movement reported yesterday on a separate bullying lawsuit, also in New Jersey:
Lawsuit: Child Perceived Gay Beaten And Bullied Daily. School Solution: Enroll In Sports
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