A fourth-grader named Nicholas had a real tough time at P.S. 43 in the Bronx. Classmates teased him, kicked him, slapped him in the face, and hit him in the head, according to a lawsuit filed on Thursday in New York State Supreme Court.
The bullying got so bad, the complaint noted, that Nicholas transferred to a school in Virginia, where his father lived.
The suit, filed by the boy’s mother Sulay Grant, seeks to hold the school, the city’s department of education, and multiple school officials liable for the string of physical abuse. It accuses the adults with negligent supervision, and also charges the boy’s classmates with battery.
The harassment started within the first week of school, Grant claims. Two boys “began by calling [Nicholas] inappropriate and derogatory names.” This would happen “on a daily basis.”
It only escalated from there. On September 16, 2011, the school nurse reported to Grant that one of the boys had kicked Nicholas in the shin during gym class.
A few days later, Grant went to the school to meet with the parent coordinator, who said that “she would handle the issue and that it would not happen again,” the suit states.
But on October 3, when Nicholas came home from school, Grant saw “a huge lump on his forehead.” The boy “relayed to his mother that the same student who assaulted him in gym class purposefully and intentionally approached him without provocation and ‘head butted'” him when the teacher wasn’t looking.
On the 12th, Nicholas told his mother about another incident: “that he was attacked by two of his classmates… in the boy’s bathroom” during their after-school program. On December 15, a boy allegedly pushed Nicholas “against several desks.” On February 18, another classmate “slapped him across the face.”
The complaint claims that Grant spoke with multiple school officials throughout the year, and that they consistently told her they would address the situation. Yet the bullying continued, the suit asserts.
In addition to moving to a new school out of state, court documents explain, Nicholas sees a child psychologist.
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