An ex- Concord-Carlisle High School student is suing the Concord-Carlisle School District and the towns of Concord and Carlisle for Massachusetts personal injury. Isabella Hankey filed a federal lawsuit claiming she was bullied for close to two years. Also named as defendants are Superintendent Diana Rigby, Assistant Principal Alan Weinstein, and Principal Peter Badalament. The 18-year-old is seeking $2 million.
Hankey contends that school officials were notified about the bullying incidents but that they did not act to effectively handle the matter, which only exacerbated the situation. She says that her car was vandalized multiple times, including in the school parking lot, with slurs keyed into her vehicle and feces smeared on the car’s exterior. Death threats against her in the form of graffiti were written on bathroom walls.
Hankey claims that rather than help her the school tried to destroy the bullying evidence by trying to scrub the writing off the walls. Meantime, the school principal allegedly did not respond to emails and phone calls.
Hankey says she was so troubled by the bullying that she transferred to an alternative program and graduated early. She also was hospitalized for a blood clot that she believes was stress-related and experienced panic attacks, even skipping her SAT’s after receiving a death threat.
No longer seen as “child’s play” bullying can lead to serious injuries, including physical injuries and emotional injuries, and even death or suicide. Schools, their officials, and staff must make sure that they create and maintain and environment that discourages bullying, hazing, or other forms of harassment.
Who can forget the 2010 suicide of Phoebe Prince after she was bullied by classmates in South Hadley, MA or the fatal hazing of Florida A&M University band member Robert Champion. Recently, camera footage captured a bullying incident involving a teen who was beaten on a school bus while the driver, who called for help, looked on. School officials say the driver acted correctly and followed policy.
Bullying is an act of violence regardless of what it is called or that it takes place among young peers. To find out whether your family has reason for filing a Boston bullying lawsuit, you should speak with an experienced Massachusetts personal injury law firm right away.
Concord-Carlisle Faces $2 Million Bullying Lawsuit, CBS Boston, August 6, 2013
A happy school life lost to unseen tormentors, Boston Globe, August 7, 2013
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