Strange Twist to a Cyberbullying Story

      LAS VEGAS (CN) – A high school student, who says he was only trying to help, sued his school district, claiming it jeopardized his college scholarship offers by falsely accusing him of cyberbullying.
     Alec Pittsenbarger and his parents sued the Clark County School District in Superior Court. They want the district enjoined from blocking him from playing in the 2013 baseball playoffs and state tournament, and punishing him “for helping a victim of cyberbullying.”
     Pittsenbarger claims the school wrongfully suspended him after he helped a friend get a copy of an inappropriate photo of a girl that was being passed around school, which was believed to have originated from a member of the baseball team.
     Pittsenbarger, a senior at Shadow Ridge High School, claims that in April a friend asked him about a cyberbullying incident at school. The friend asked him to help the girl get a copy of the picture so she could find out what was being circulated about her, Pittsenbarger says.
     “Even though he did not know the victim,” Pittsenbarger says, he “felt bad that this was happening to her,” so he said “he would see if he could help her by contacting the young man who allegedly circulated the text.”
     Alec got the photo and forwarded it to his friend.
     On April 30, he was called into the school’s office and asked if he knew about the cyberbullying. Pittsenbarger says he explained what happened.
     The school put him on “required parent conference” status and him he could not return until his parents came with him to meet with the dean. He also not allowed to play in that day’s baseball game.
     Pittsenbarger and his parents met the next day with the dean, who suspended Alec for 10 days for cyberbulling. He was also banned from playing baseball.
     “Due to the administration’s outrageous punishment, Alec has been forced to miss the last two games of the 2013 baseball season, and will be forced to miss the entire playoffs leading to the state tournament,” according to the complaint. “If this should happen, Alec will lose all his scholarship offers from the six colleges pursuing him.”
     Alec seeks an injunction and at least $10,000 in compensatory damages.
     He represented by Cami M. Perkins with Hutchison & Steffen.

%d bloggers like this: