DeLAND, Fla. (CN) – A mother claims a middle school teacher watched as her son was “punched, kneed in the stomach and finally stripped of his clothes and photographed by four older students,” then “without saying a word or lifting a finger to intervene … went back into his office and closed the door.”
The mother claims her son suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and is on medication more than a year after he was bullied at that Volusia County middle schools – then bullied again at a second one.
Melissa J. sued the Volusia County School Board and teacher Wayne Wheeler, in Volusia County Court.
She says classmates repeatedly attacked her son in the boys’ locker room at Holly Hill Middle School, while Wheeler “did nothing to stop it.”
The mother says: “While attending Wheeler’s class, and under Wheeler’s supervision, [her son] was verbally assaulted, punched, kneed in the stomach and finally stripped of his clothes and photographed by four older students.
“Wheeler, after hearing [her son’s] cries and the screams of other children witnessing the attack, interrupted his Internet session on his School Board computer to stand at the door of his office and observe the incident. Without saying a word or lifting a finger to intervene on [her son’s] behalf or regain control of the classroom, Wheeler went back into his office and closed the door.”
When that class ended, the mother says, her son “somehow made his way to the next class where he rolled into a fetal position in the corner, crying uncontrollably.”
“Finally, plaintiff was called to the school, the authorities were contacted, and two of the attackers were arrested and prosecuted.”
Three weeks later, “after a limited School Board investigation, Wheeler resigned from his employment with the School Board and received no punishment regarding this incident,” the mother says.
The School Board approved her request to transfer her son to Campbell Middle School, to protect him, the mother says, where he was bullied again.
“Within weeks” of his transfer, she says, her son “was again attacked, this time in the cafeteria by a student who had attacked a student earlier in the day, but was allowed to stay on campus rather than being suspended.”
So she pulled her son from public school and home-schooled him, the mom says.
She says her son “has been diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder, hospitalized multiple times, prescribed antidepressants and has been under almost constant mental, emotional and behavioral therapy.”
She seeks damages for negligence and vicarious liability.
She is represented by Ernest DeLoach Jr. of Orlando.