School Bullying

Baublit v. East Knox Local School Dist., (2:11-cv-1077, S.D. Ohio 2011) – Sex Based Harassment/Title IX Violation

The parents of a Sixth Grader enrolled in the East Knox Local School District brought this civil action against the school district for failing to enforce its established policy that expressly prohibited the harassment and/or bullying of students.

For more than one year, the Sixth Grader suffered severe, persistent, pervasive bullying and harassment by numerous East Knox Local School District students. The bullying and harassment was based on the Sixth Grader’s perceived sexual orientation. The Sixth Grader was intimidated and threatened daily, forcing the student to endure an abusive educational environment. The bullying and harassment heaped upon the Sixth Grader included both verbal and physical assaults. The bullying and harassment perpetrated against the student by numerous East Knox students and at least one parent of an East Knox student was sustained, severe, persistent and pervasive.

Each and every day that the Sixth Grader attended East Knox Middle School, he was unceasingly called “gay,” “queer,” “faggot,” and “girl.” The Sixth Grader was repeatedly taunted by East Knox students who on multiple occasions demeaned the student with statements such as “he takes it in the asshole,” “he has sex with boys every night,” and “he has no testicles.” The Sixth Grader endured regular and consistent threats from East Knox Middle School students. The threats directed at the student, from different East Knox Middle School students, included “I‟ll bust your head open” and “I‟ll smash your head with a hammer.” The Sixth Grader was tripped in the hallway, had his books knocked out of his hands, and at an East Knox Local School District sponsored football game in October, 2010, the Sixth Grader was physically assaulted by group of East Knox Middle School students who kicked and punched him while yelling at that he was “a faggot” and was “gay.” The bullying and harassment by East Knox students was because the Sixth Grader did not conform to the students’ sexual stereotypes of how they believed that a male should behave. He routinely and consistently reported each incident of bullying and harassment to East Knox faculty, staff and administrators. The Sixth Grader also routinely and consistently reported each incident of bullying and harassment to his parents. His parents in turn, met with East Knox faculty, staff and administrators on numerous occasions and demanded the administrators take effective action to stop the ongoing and continual bullying and harassment of their child. His mother spoke personally with school administrators on no less than thirty (30) occasions specifically requesting effective action be taken to stop the ongoing and continual bullying and harassment of her child.

Weiler v. New Boston Local Schools, (Scioto Co. Ct. of Common Pleas, 15-CIF-001, 2015) – Administrative Appeal of Disciplinary Decision

The parents of a Tenth Grader enrolled in the New Boston Local School District appeal the decision of the New Boston Local Schools School Board which upheld a five (5) day out of school suspension of their son, accusing him of being the “aggressor” in a fight.

On December 2, 2014, the Tenth Grader was sitting in his Geometry class when another student pulled his hair from behind. The Tenth Grader warned the other student to not do so again or he would defend himself by hitting the other student. Despite the warning, the other student pulled the Tenth Grader’s hair again, this time with more force, enough that some of the Tenth Grader’s hair was pulled out, leaving a noticeable missing patch. The Tenth Grader responded by punching the other student, with a closed fist.

The class teacher did not see the hair pulling, but did see the punch. He escorted the boys to the principal’s office. School administrators concluded that despite the other student admitting to pulling the Tenth Grader’s hair twice, that the Tenth Grader, rather than the other student, was the “aggressor” who initiated the fight. Accordingly, the other student received a four-day in school punishment; the Tenth Grader received a much harsher, five-day out of school suspension.