A Tennessee mother is suing her son’s school district. Ashley Shupe claims the school reacted with gross negligence and deliberate indifference to the bullying he sustained every day at school when he was in second grade. In particular, she claims her son Kaiden’s elementary school failed to adequately protect him from bullying by another student, who has not been named. The situation started with taunting and pushing and has since escalated to physical assault and harassment, which has left the child with extensive emotional damage.
On Monday, Shupe filed a $300,000 lawsuit against the Dickson County School District.
As if Kaiden had not experienced enough trauma from the bullying itself, the school has taken actions to isolate Kaiden from not only the original student, but the rest of his classmates. Tin what they say is an effort to comply with the wishes Shupe outlined in a letter she sent prior to filing the suit, but the effects have been adverse. Since the abuse started, Kaiden has started isolating himself in his room, lost his appetite and scored high on a clinical depression test. His doctor has admitted that Kaiden may harm himself. Despite a meeting with Kaiden’s teacher, the school’s guidance counselor, and the principal prior to the lawsuit, the school demonstrated complete failure to protect Kaiden from bullying and harassment.
Parents agree that schools need to be held accountable when their children are victimized. Disciplining the bully often proves ineffective by itself, especially with no follow up on such discipline. Therefore, when schools fail to protect their children, choosing to sue the school district can be effective. This has been the rationale for a number of lawsuits appearing across the country. Prevention is better than litigious action, but if needed, taking legal action can help your child when the school district will not.