Clayton Co. mother files suit against school district over son's excessive bullying

by: Mark Winne Updated:

CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga. —

A Clayton County mother says a school board member said she's sorry for what her son is going through but the mom didn't get enough action from other school officials to stop the bullying her son endured.

Channel 2 investigative reporter Mark Winne has learned the mother has pulled him out of school and filed a lawsuit.

The mother of the alleged victim in this case forwarded Winne an email that appears to be from a school board member saying in part, "I am so sorry for the ordeal that your son is experiencing. It is very important that we provide a safe and nurturing environment for our children."

But now she's likely to get other officials' attention.

"In this case, the bullying was very pervasive and systemic," Julie Oinonen, the family's attorney, said.

The boy's mother, who asked not to be identified, said her then 8-year-old son, initials S.P., went to Brown Elementary School in spring 2011.

She said that's where her son was bullied and beaten up by classmates.

"His two front teeth were kicked completely out of his mouth," the mother said.

But now her family's put some teeth in their efforts to get satisfaction -- a lawsuit.

"We tried to work with them intensely, sitting down meeting after meeting," the mother said.


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"We take all occurrences of bullying very serious. We'll follow the appropriate protocols," Douglas Hendrix with the Clayton County School District told Winne. "We will be investigating the protocols to make sure that they were followed."

The suit suggests rather than moving the bully out of his classroom, Brown Elementary moved S.P, claiming the aggressor couldn't be moved due to special education services he was getting.

S.P.'s mother said she gives his teacher that year high marks for trying to help, but the boy's teacher the next school year, not so much, when another bully surfaced.

The suit said S.P. was victim of "persistent bullying by a fellow classmate who repeatedly threatened him with physical assault and promised to 'fight him.'"

"On Aug. 19, 2011, the bully placed S.P. into a headlock and repeatedly punches him in the left eye," the suit continued.

S.P.'s mother said the bullying and meetings continued and one teacher even became verbally combative with her.

"A bullying action plan was set in place which the teacher at issue refused to comply with," Oinonen said.

The mother said she finally pulled her son out of Brown Elementary and began homeschooling.

"We wanna make sure we're doing the right things to keep all kids safe," Hendrix told Winne.

"I'm torn up. I mean this is a child who always wanted to go to school, loved school," the mother said.

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