Atlanta Public Schools was sued in Fulton County Superior Court this month by a former Inman Middle School student’s family, as they alleged the school district did nothing to address a bullying attack from September 2012 that left their 12-year-old son suffering a “near death blow” and needing a three-hour corrective surgery.
The parents who filed the suit, Jeff and Jennifer Del Bagno, said school officials never documented the incident, never reported the incident to police, or disciplined the students involved in the attack. The Del Bagnos said bullying had been a problem at the intown Atlanta school for more than a year before the attack, and despite their repeated email communications with school administrators, the district indicated two months after the attack that they were unaware of any such bullying problems.
Earlier this year, the Del Bagnos posted on Midtown Patch about the attack:
Inman Middle/APS fail to comply w/even basic security & child safety procedures, along w/Georgia Law & their own APS Policy on a consistently casual & indifferent basis. Our son, a 12 yr old honor student & victim of a 4-on-1 Near Homicide Attack (a near death blow; nose broken in 3 places, deviated septum, 95% of sinuses caved in, left w/ only 5% breathing capacity-3hr corrective surgery) while students were left unsupervised (by teachers/coaches). Surveillance video was immediately & repeatedly requested verbally & in writing (6x). Inman Response: No EMT's called, No Police or Incident Report -Surveillance Video's "lost & not available"(a 2 time occurrence on 2 diff. incidents)-"accept it you'll be blessed" - this was the official response from Inman. Inman/APS/Davis must be held accountable, w/real consequences, to those charged w/our children's safety & academic development & must go beyond meaningless & repeated "sound bite cliches" in their "actions". Inman also failed to fully comply procedurally (again, w/their own "APS Best Practices & Policies") w/ the recent Hard Lockdown ordered at Inman in conjunction w/ the Grady Shooting, again "casually" putting our child's life & safety at risk. If your child has been the victim of Bullying, Threats & Violence at Inman, please contact us, we would like to share what we have learned w/a view towards making Inman a better & safe school for all students.
An APS representative told WSB-TV they were unable to comment on the lawsuit because it is a pending legal matter.
The state of Georgia has “The Georgia Bullying Law” that protects students from constant bullying and it threatens repercussions for the bullies. Check out the Bullying Prevention Toolkit that has plenty of information on how to handle bullying amongst our children.
Do you know what to look for if your child may be the victim of bullying at school or on the internet? Do you know the signs that your child may be engaging in bullying at school or online?