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Monday, June 17, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

School Bullying Brought Suicide, Parents Say

CORPUS CHRISTI (CN) - A "wolf pack" of high school bullies subjected a boy of Korean and Latino heritage to such vicious bullying that he killed himself, and the school district is responsible, his parents claim in court.

Domingo and Judy Molina sued the Flour Bluff Independent School District on behalf of their deceased son, Ted Hodges Molina. The federal lawsuit claims the school district violated the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

The 156-square-mile school district in and around Corpus Christi includes a Naval Air Station, the Corpus Christi Army Depot and part of North Padre Island, according to the school district website.

The Molinas claim their son was subjected to physical bullying and was called names such as "Chinese fat boy," "spic chinkeyed motherfucker" and "fucking crossbreed" on "almost a daily basis."

The bullying was mostly due to Teddy's race, "primarily Korean and Hispanic descent," the parents say.

Teddy was considered a disabled student and "received special education services," according to the complaint states.

Twenty students known as the "Wolf Pack" once surrounded Teddy and said they were going to kill him at a taco stand near the high school, yet only one student was disciplined, Teddy's parents say in the complaint.

Judy Molina, Teddy's mother, reported the name-calling to teachers but "the teachers claimed they never heard anyone say it" even though "the teachers were there in the room and heard the other kids calling Teddy names," according to the complaint.

The school counselor and principal took no action to stop the bullying, the parents say.

"Nothing ever happened to the bullies even though Teddy's mother followed the chain of command like she was supposed to do," the complaint states. "No one was helping Teddy and no one was saying anything to those other boys to make them stop."

The parents say one reason nothing was done about the bullying was because Flour Bluff "hates to get into confrontations with parents," which inevitably would have resulted had the school contacted the parents of the bullies.

The parents claim school staff contributed to the bullying.

A teacher and football coach "told Teddy that he should do everyone a favor and shoot himself," the complaint states.

Another coach made fun of Teddy's race when he was on the junior high football team and a Flour Bluff janitor taunted Teddy by calling him "Asian boy," his parents say.

Flour Bluff even accused Teddy of assaulting another student instead of addressing Teddy's own harassment, according to the complaint.

The bullying began in fifth grade and lasted through Teddy's death in high school.

Teddy's bullying was not the only problem the Molinas had with Flour Bluff. Teddy's sister was "assaulted and nearly raped by a high school football player" and the school district conveniently "lost" the security footage of the incident, according to the complaint.

The Molinas seek an injunction ordering the school district to "adopt an anti-bullying and harassment program that is provided by a third party, like the Anti-Defamation League or the Southern Poverty Law Center" and ordered to adopt other policies and procedures, such as an anti-bullying month.

They also seek monetary damage for pain and suffering and loss of consortium.

They are represented by Martin J. Cirkiel of Round Rock.

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