October is Bullying Awareness Month. This true crime case is about a 13-year-old boy who experienced bullying that started in seventh grade and ended in the eighth grade. The same two to four boys sought the young teen. They verbally harassed and physically tormented him.
The boy’s guardians (his aunt and uncle because his parents were deceased) spoke repeatedly with the school administrators about the bullying.
After a punch to his chest and threats of more violence, the boy’s adult cousin attended a meeting with the vice principal on a Friday to discuss the escalation.
The vice principal told the student and his cousin they would suspend the bullies for three days. On Monday, the bullies who were at school confronted the victim. At lunch they punched him a few times, knocking him to the ground. During the fall, his head struck a concrete pillar.
Nine days later, because the boy had suffered major brain trauma, his family had to make the tough decision to remove the bullied student’s life support so he could pass peacefully.
The vice principal didn’t return to work at that middle school. Another school district hired her as a middle school principal to start the following school year. The superintendent that recommended her hiring was quoted to have said,
“I hired [the new principal] for her energy and passion for kids being the absolute center of her world.”
The authorities charged the bullies with manslaughter. A judge sentenced them to 150 hours of community service and rehab. At the sentencing, the judge was quoted to have said,
"The law required him to sentence the juveniles in the least restrictive manner that will result in both rehabilitation and public safety."
The victim’s guardians filed a civil lawsuit against the school district claiming the minor’s death may have stemmed from a wrongful or negligent act. Once the case concludes, it’s doubtful the court will disclose the outcome of this type of lawsuit.
Source: San Diego Tribune, NBC 4, Dixon Independent Voice, The Press-Enterprise