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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Former Aberdeen Student Wins Harassment Suit

From our friends over at The Stranger Slog, comes this story of a young man who won a judgment against the Aberdeen School District for unbated harassment against him by classmates in both middle and high school.  The lawsuit was filed with the help of the ACLU.  He won $100,000 from the district.

The harassment sounds like crazy town (some kids went so far as to create a mocking website of him).  He and his parents repeatedly reported the incidents, in person and in writing, and never got help from administrators.   There were harassment over his perceived sexual orientation and his race. 

Public school officials must be held accountable when they fail to meet their responsibility to act decisively when a student is subjected to harassment by his peers," said Sarah Dunne, ACLU-WA legal director in a statement released today. "This settlement sends a message to school districts statewide to take strong action as soon as they learn that a student is being bullied."

I hope this message is received in districts everywhere. 

2 comments:

seattle citizen said...

Bullying (in all its forms, and also other damaging, non-"bullying" aspects of youth interaction)is, perhaps, one of the most serious non-academic issues facing schools.

Often-times it goes un-noticed by adults. When it is noticed and reported, I believe that responses are all over the map. I hope that the increasing attention paid to it will bring discussion and systematic response. Students should be safe, they should find ways to support each other rather than tear each other down, they should, by schools, communities, parents, etc be educated in ways that celebrate ALL people instead of denigrate some for the perceived "advancement" of an individual.

Anonymous said...

@Seattle Citizen"...instead of denigrate some for the perceived "advancement" of an individual."

Yes. Now, about those admins who bully teachers...

-JC.