Mother claims teacher's verbal abuse pushed teen to attempt suicide; school investigating

The district said the focus of the investigation is on a personnel matter.????

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — A local mother says her teenage son was so verbally abused by one of his teachers that he tried to take his own life.

DeKalb County School officials confirm they have opened an investigation into the incident.

The teen's mother, asking not to be identified, told Channel 2's Michael Seiden that, luckily, she was home and rushed him to a nearby hospital.

Content Continues Below

She told Seiden that she’s speaking out now because she wants to make sure this doesn’t happen to any other child.

“It makes me angry. It makes my flesh crawl. It hurts,” the mother said.

She said she filed a complaint with the DeKalb County School District after her 18-year-old son told her that he had been verbally abused by one of his teachers at Lithonia High School earlier this week.

“At 3 o’clock when they were getting dismissed, he was in the cafeteria area, waiting for his younger brother to be released,” the mother said.

That’s when she claims a physical education coach approached her son and started screaming at him.


“He said ‘get your (expletive) up and move!’ And he was like, ‘No, I’m not going to move. I’m going to wait for my brother,’” the mother said. “That’s when he proceeded to point and walk behind him, calling him gay and talking about his pants tight.”

The mother told Seiden that her son was so upset that he locked himself inside his bedroom and attempted to take his own life.

“He has tried to commit suicide. He has taken sleeping pills,” the mother told Seiden. "He’s not the same right now. He’s afraid.”

A representative for the school district confirmed to Seiden that they are investigating a personnel matter but declined to offer any specifics, adding that the teacher "has been placed on administrative leave with pay pending the conclusion of the investigation."

Channel 2 Action News is not naming the teacher because he has not been charged.

As for the student, his mother said that he's now receiving professional help and although he returned to school Friday, she's now looking to send him to a new school or possibly home school him.