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Will New Bullying Lawsuit Bring Change to Las Vegas Schools?

In a new bullying lawsuit filed in Las Vegas, the American Civil Liberties Union is bringing charges against school officials. The ACLU says that they failed to stop a bully in a band class who acted viciously against two fellow sixth graders and even caused one of these students to think of suicide.

Bully%20Stop%20Violence%2053127538-001.jpgThe complaint, available HERE, was filed on Monday on behalf of the boys’ mothers who want policy changes and unspecified damages in a jury trial. The Clark County School District (CCSD) officials being named include Superintendent Pat Skorkowsky, employees at Greenspun Junior High School and school board members as defendants. In addition, the lawsuit accuses the Nevada Equal Rights Commission of responding poorly with an investigation.

The lawsuit goes into great detail about how the two sixth graders were tormented extensively by bullies. The bullying started in Fall 2011 when the boys first entered sixth grade. For many months, the students suffered homophobic slurs and one was stabbed in the genitals with a pencil.

Now the two families are suing the Clark County School District. The parents wore purple wristbands that showed a specific message with hearts around the name Hailee and the phrase “Stop Bullying.” Purple was Hailee Joy Lamberth’s favorite color. Hailee Lamberth was another victim of bullying in the CCSD. She committed suicide last December leaving behind a note. She was 13 years old and an honors student who played soccer. Her death prompted the parents the two sixth grade boys to file the lawsuit in addition to the slow response from the school board and Equal Rights Commission.

The boys who are ages 13 and 14 are the same age as Hailee when she took her life.

“If we had done something sooner, maybe Hailee might still be alive,” said Kyle Bryan in the lawsuit. “No child should have to consider ending their life because of bullying.”

The ACLU of Nevada said that the lawsuit is an “unprecedented action” to protect students from bullying. Amanda Morgan, the ACLU staff attorney, stated that parents shouldn’t have to bring a lawsuit to ensure that children are safe and that the school district and Equal Rights Commission failed the families of the two sixth grade boys.