November 14, 2011
Ohio family sues school for anti-Semitism, bullying
The family of a 14-year-old Ohio girl is suing school officials in the state for allowing bullying and anti-Semitic attacks aimed at their daughter.
The lawsuit alleges that officials at Green High School did nothing to curb years of bullying by classmates, which included being called a “dirty Jew” and told she would “rot in hell” for not believing in Jesus Christ, the Akron Beacon Journal reported.
The parents brought the case to U.S. District Court last month after transferring their daughter to another public school district. The name of the family is being withheld to protect the identity of the girl.
In the lawsuit, a bus driver, guidance counselor, two principals and two superintendents are identified as doing nothing to stop the bullying or acting to punish the aggressors.
In 2008, the girl reportedly was called a “[f—-ing] Jew” by several boys and was spat on while riding a school bus, the Akron newspaper reported. The lawsuit maintains that the bus driver neither disciplined the boys nor filed a report with the district about it.
“She’s been victimized for a number of years because there’s very few Jewish people in that district and there’s a lot of people apparently who have a problem with Jews,” said the family’s Cleveland attorney, Kenneth Myers.
Other instances of bullying described in the lawsuit involve being assaulted by a boy in the choir room, being stabbed in the leg with a pencil and the creation of a Facebook page devoted to disparaging the girl.
The lawsuit also accuses Mark Booth, the principal of Green Intermediate School, of telling the girl’s mother that her daughter “enjoyed the attention.” He reportedly told the girl to fight one of the boys who was bullying her.
Green Superintendent Michael Nutter said of the lawsuit, “Our lawyers at the insurance company are reviewing it and we’ve been advised from them at this point not to comment on it until they’ve reviewed all of it. We have our [bullying] policies, they’re all online, but that’s all I can say right now about it.”
Green is a northeastern Ohio suburb of nearly 26,000 located midway between Canton and Akron.