MIAMI (AP) — Administrators at a charter school repeatedly failed to take action after a 7-year-old student was bullied and sexually assaulted by an older classmate to the point that he attempted suicide, the boy's mother claims in a lawsuit filed Monday.
The boy, identified only as "John" in the lawsuit, first told his mother in November 2011 that the 11-year-old boy "made me do something nasty" in the back of a school bus, according to a police report. The boy said he was forced to perform oral sex on the classmate, "J.R." who warned him, "If you don't do this, I'm gonna hurt you," the report says.
The boy's mother contacted Rebecca Dinda, principal of the Downtown Miami Charter School the boys attended, according to the lawsuit. Dinda assured the mother "the assault would not happen again and that the two children would be separated and closely monitored." But the attorney for the boy's mother, Jeffrey Herman, said the bullying and threats continued, followed by a second sexual assault in a school restroom.
"They have a duty to prevent that harm from happening with these little kids," Herman told reporters. "The school failed miserably."
The younger boy's mother said "John" attempted suicide twice after that, once by deliberately standing in traffic with his eyes closed and another time by sticking a metal hanger in an electric socket. The mother, who asked not to be identified by name to protect her son's identity, said he is now taking psychological medications, has frequent difficulty sleeping and making friends and will likely undergo therapy for years.
"It has been a nightmare, and I would not want anybody to feel the way I do," she said.
An email seeking comment from Dinda was not returned. Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based Charter Schools USA Inc., operator of the school, said in a statement it could not comment directly on the lawsuit's allegations but added that "student safety and security are among our highest priorities." The lawsuit also names a bus service and driver as defendants.
It wasn't immediately clear whether the Miami Police Department had concluded its criminal investigation. Herman said when sex assault allegations are made against one child by another, it's not always clear that the perpetrator knew that a crime was being committed. He added that "J.R." is also undergoing mental counseling.
Herman said the lawsuit will seek damages "in the millions" to cover what will likely be years of therapy needed for "John," who will no longer attend Downtown Miami Charter. It also could affect his ability to earn a living, Herman said.
"There will be big damages in this case. His life will never be the same," he said.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (10/15-10/21)
31 photos Launch gallery
1. Just a NY girl with BIG dreams....
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2. HAPPY CHILDREN=QUALITY PARENTING. We don't always see eye to eye on everything and that's normal. We're human beings. But we come together and do it right for what's important, the kids. We are not enemies, we are parents. And we are parents 1st. S/O to @monyettashaw for making Mason's bday memorable. S/O to @itscrystalsmith at home taking care of our other lil' Prince. ❤️❤️❤️ THIS IS WHAT CO-PARENTING LOOKS LIKE. #Blessed #Happy #AboveTheDrama #BiggerThanUs
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3. So happy to finally be able to share with you all that I’m the new Global Brand Ambassador for @Revlon! Follow my day on RevlonSnaps. Yay! Choose Love, Everybody! #RevlonXCiara #chooselove #ad
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4. Glam on point!!!@makeupbymotoko & @shaylinjoneshair #easybreezy @lifetimetv #beachesmovie #january2017 😘
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5. ✨True love ✨📸: @jessiemarrerophotography
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7. Today was not easy..but by the grace of God we all got through it. Words cannot express our gratitude for all of your Prayers, Positive thoughts and Support for us throughout the years. Tommy will be missed but most certainly never forgotten...And PLEASE don't ask "Where's Martin?.." he was there too...just not in this picture. Lol! God bless you all.. #LoveConquersAll #MartinShow
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9. West coast get ready for #RockyHorror. I will be live tweeting again. #letsdothetimewarpagain
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10. #THEKEYS pre order yours now ... Available everywhere #NOV22 #WeTheBest 🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑
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11. We about to ROCK at #KCABlackBall!! All for our life-changing effort to end 🌎 AIDS.
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12. Today's #SNAPJACK is brought to you by @yazzthegreatest 😂😂😂💋💋💋
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13. Damn girl you kinda old to be headed to the Go Go. You coming in at the age they leaving. LMAO
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14. Daddy daycare B-Boxin with @acewellstucker @shopraisingace
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15. #FBF Naviyd & URV "LIL MONSTERS"
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16. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ONE OF THE BIGGEST LEGENDS IN OUR HIPHOP HISTORY! @snoopdogg CONTINUED BLESSING AND LOVE FAMILY!!!!! REAL OG!
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17. Thank you for a beautiful night VSU! Let's do it again! #HOMECOMING
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18. Had a great time this morning with my familia Erica, Griff & Truth!!
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19. Check out my interview on @essence facebook live. #inmyownwords #nycpromo #day2
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20. #She💋 #tbt #TheCoveAtTheAtlantis #DawgPawsAndAll
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21. Bae #retailtherapy
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22. Why me and @coryhardrict got the same pose... and notee... new mouth #naked
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23. When my husband is my personal 'hype-man'! it kills me every time! 💜😂 #WHATNOW #lostfiles📷
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24. Diggy Simmons
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25. Hand full of @jacquieaiche 💙💎💍 @esnail_la 💅🏾
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26. SuperSoulers! You can watch my interview with Carl Lentz live from my Facebook page, tomorrow at 11a ET| 8a PT. #SuperSoulSunday
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27. 💋 .. When the friendship is easy like Sunday morning. ☀️
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28. Sunday mornings are the best........... hugs and cuddles with my angel
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29. #huggar16 #hellohuggars
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30. My gym is everywhere!.. #RnBMoney #TheGeneral 📸: @twelvepastseven
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31. Nothing I would rather be doing... Rocko setting up our movie, Romelō working on a puzzle & Laiyah singing and sharing all she's learning at school... I'm so grateful for the joy they've brought into my life ... Praying for peace , joy & love in the home of EVERY family ♥️ #HeadScarfPJSunday LOL 😂
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