PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – A Portland-area school district is now being sued as those behind the suit allege the district failed to protect a middle school student that was bullied and assaulted by classmates.
The family is demanding change after they say their teen was sent to the hospital multiple times due to bullying while in seventh grade at Centennial Middle School.
“The first assault, she broke her wrist and landed in the hospital for that, and the last assault, she had a post-concussive disorder and now has chronic PTSD,” said the student’s aunt Emily James.
James has a video taken by a classmate that shows another student repeatedly hitting her niece in the head while she was on the ground outside the school. The family has requested the video not be shared with the public.
Now, the family is suing the Centennial School District, alleging the school had a duty to assure her safety, and “the CMS principal failed to take any further corrective action, offered no safety plan and did not offer a protective order against the two attackers.”
Since then, the family says the teen has been cyber-bullied with videos of the bullying circulating on social media.
According to the family, that student missed a year of school due to fear of further attacks. She is now homeschooled.
“It’s relentless,” James said. “It’s physical, it’s Instagram, it’s TikTok, it’s Snapchat.”
The family says the continued cyber bullying has taken a mental health toll on her too.
“She didn’t do anything wrong and she doesn’t deserve to feel like she doesn’t matter because she does matter,” James said.
KOIN 6 reached out to the Centennial School District and they declined to comment on the lawsuit because it involves a minor. However, they sent a statement that said they remain “focused on the academic and social well-being of all students” and are “committed to ensuring they have a safe and secure learning environment.”
Her family says they hope that, through this lawsuit, they can make a difference for other families also experiencing bullying.
“I don’t know what the next steps are but I want to see policy change, I want to see more therapists to students,” James said. “I want my niece to have the ability to have a great future.”
Stay with KOIN 6 as this story develops.