by: Amy Napier Viteri Updated:ATLANTA —
The family of a former Inman Middle School student has filed a lawsuit alleging Atlanta Public Schools did nothing to address a bullying attack that left their child needing surgery.
"What are you going to do to keep the kids safe?" Jeff Del Bagno said. "What are you going to do relative to the bullies?"
Del Bagno told Channel 2's Amy Napieri Viteri his son Jeffrey was in seventh grade at Inman MS when a group of his football teammates, who had been bullying him, attacked him in the school gym in September of 2012.
"These guys did what the football team called a ‘bullpen attack’ on Jeffrey," Del Bagno said. "The guy in the back would push you into the guy in the front, while he would punch you and the guys on the side would simultaneously attack."
Photos showed bruises and swelling on Jeffrey's face. According to the lawsuit filed in Fulton County Superior Court, Jeffrey's nose was broken in three places, requiring surgery and months of recovery. Paperwork from his doctor stated the bone was millimeters away from causing a life-threatening injury.
The Del Bagno family said Inman MS administrators never documented the incident, never called police to make a report or disciplined the students involved. Del Bagno said the bullying had been an issue for a year before the attack, something they documented in emails to school officials. But a letter from APS two months after the alleged attack said they were unaware of any bullying issues.
"The highest levels of APS said we have no record of this ever happening," Del Bagno said.
He said they tried for months to see if the school would implement a safety plan to keep a similar incident from happening again, but never got a clear response.
"We don't want this to happen to any other parent ever. For any other parent to have to go through this," Del Bagno said.
An APS representative said they are aware of the lawsuit and are unable to make any comment because it is a pending legal matter.