Tuesday, November 29, 2011

In Indiana: A Mother is Suing the School for her Son's Suicide

The mother of a bullied victim filed a lawsuit in federal court against Hamilton Southeastern Schools for not stopping attacks and harassment of her son, Jamarcus Bell. Jamarcus was bullied and harassed so much that he took his own life.  The mother, Natalie Moore, feels that the school could have prevented this.
Natalie Moore alleges teachers and administrators at both HSE Junior High and HSE High School ignored reports that her son, Jamarcus Bell, suffered racially-based bullying and harassment for "perceived homosexuality and emotional disability."

According to the lawsuit, filed Nov. 21 in the U.S. District Court in Indianapolis, the African-American student was the victim of "constant and ruthless harassment and bullying from other students" who allegedly threw pieces of metal at him during a welding class, stole his shoes, his clothing, had his book bag dumped and was physically assaulted in hallways and classrooms.

Bell, who had survived an earlier attempt to hang himself at school in a janitor's closet at the junior high, ultimately ended his own life on Oct. 20, 2010, at his mother's home during fall break.
The lawsuit hinges on what Moore 's lawyers -- Delk McNally, LLP of Muncie -- say was the inaction of school officials to respond to the bullying that was taking place in the months leading up to the suicide.
This lawsuit should force the school district into creating ways to prevent bullying. This could have turned out differently if the teachers were more concerned about the students' safety.


luciferosirisarnold said...

I use to get teased about my name and that all stopped once I started loving me and kicking some asses. It's hard to say if this was the cause of this guy's suicide. Where in the hell was the dad?

Anonymous said...

I support this mother's efforts to prevent what happened to her son from happening again. The school has an obligation to provide a safe environment in which to learn.

On the other hand, schools are not day care and this boy's parents should have been more involved in his life.

WilsonW said...

I'm gonna say it like my Momma said it when I was little in response to a school official not taking her concerns to heart, "Everybody has a boss and right now I want the name of yours. If they don't listen, I'll be going to their boss. And I'll keep going up until someone hears and does something about what I have to say!" Parents get your fighting gloves on and take these folks to task. Go up as high as you need to and if all that don't work, call the local news. We are fighting for the lives of our children and ignorance is not acceptable!

I also personally don't believe in the school being judge and jury on everything to the point that local law enforcement is not involved. If someone cheats on a test, school can handle it. If someone skips school, school can handle it. If someone is verbally, emotionally, or physically harassing another student, time to call the cops. That's not something to be dealt with by a detention or suspension. That's something to be handled by a Judge in juvenile court.

I know in Florida we have the Baker Act, which is basically if you try to take your life, you will be involuntarily held and psychologically observed for up to 72 hours. I wonder if anything like this was done after his first attempt to commit suicide? Was he getting any counseling? Do they have anything like the Baker Act on a National basis?

Mechadude2001 said...

Kids aren't even safe at school. Yes, legal action needs to be enforced so these schools CAN NO Longer turn a blind eye to abuse and hate.
I can not bare to hear another of these stories of youth sacrificing themselves because they are under severe abuse.

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Viktor is a small town southern boy living in Los Angeles. You can find him on Twitter, writing about pop culture, politics, and comics. He’s the creator of the graphic novel StrangeLore and currently getting back into screenwriting.