BEAUMONT, Texas – A school district allowed a child with Asperger’s syndrome to be bullied for years, culminating in a vicious attack by members of the varsity football team that sent the boy to the hospital, and which another student filmed on his cell phone, the victim’s parents say.
The parents say Tarkington Independent School District failed to take action to stop the bullying, despite repeated complaints about it for at least 4 years. In 2008, they say, their child was hospitalized after he was cornered and beaten by a group that included member of the varsity football team, while another student recorded it on video. The parents say the years of bullying caused their child to threaten to kill himself if he had to attend that school again.
They say their son, L.L., is hypersensitive to loud noises, bright lights and physical contact, making it difficult for him to behave normally in social situations.
The parents say that despite their repeated attempts to address the harassment and bullying, school officials refused to intervene and denied L.L. special education services. After the videotaped beating, he stopped attending Tarkington High School.
They demand damages for medical care and other costs, and want the school district ordered to develop a plan to deal with bullying. The family is represented in Federal Court by Martin Cirkiel of Round Rock, Texas.