A mother of a 10-year-old boy has filed a lawsuit against the Charleston County School District, accusing them of improperly handling multiple bullying incidents that ultimately caused her son to try to commit suicide.
The boy started going to Deer Park Middle School on August 17, 2017. The CCSD employees at the school were informed that the boy had an intellectual disability and that he had an Individualized Education Plan that required a CCSD do accompany him while on school property.
According to the lawsuit, there was a total of four bullying incidents, and the first incident occurred just two weeks after he was enrolled.
The fourth incident occurred on October 9, 2017. Surveillance video shows the 10-year-old boy sitting on the floor of the school gym when four students came up to him and started circling and taunting him.
The suit claims that the following day the boy tried to kill himself.
“Following the suicide attempt, the CCSD conducted an investigation, which involved statements from the students who were seen on the surveillance video,” the lawsuit states. “The students variously admitted to calling [the child] a ‘cripple’ and saying that ‘he rides the handicapped bus.’”
The investigation resulted in an admission by the school principal that the school wasn’t able to provide enough accommodation for the child.
“There has been an egregious pattern of school bullying and campus assault within the Charleston County School District, as evidenced by the numerous civil filings against the CCSD in recent years,” attorney Christy Fargnoli said. “This represents a systemic failure on the part of the CCSD to take necessary and appropriate action to prevent, investigate and respond to these bullying incidents.”
The lawsuit claims that CCSD failed to follow its own policies and procedures, industry standards and federal law.