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.
Also On Black America Web:
This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (11/26-12/2)
30 photos Launch gallery
1. Little Legend and Puddy 😍😍😍😍
1 of 30
2. "You on point Phife?" "all the time,Tip". 💥 #bannedfromnormal
2 of 30
3. Vegan! The Impossible burger at Crossroads
3 of 30
4. Lawrence #BeforeandAfterEpisodes 1-4: 184lbs 13% body fatEpisode 8: 196lbs 8% body fat S/O @coachdaveboxing with the works outs and @kildareriordan with the nutrition
4 of 30
5. Jus haaaanngin out
5 of 30
6. Meanwhile back at home in Atlanta GA someone mad they not on the 🛳. 😳
6 of 30
7. No limits... Photo cred: Chris Bridges @ludacris
7 of 30
8. new new
8 of 30
9. Apparently my 260lbs is too much for the actual vines in the Hawaiian jungles to hold me without breaking and me falling hundreds of feet. So for safety purposes, I'm forced to swing thru #Jumanjj on wires strong enough to hold 12 adult buffaloes and 1 adult Rock. #OnSet #Jumanji #IronicallyIEatBuffaloDailyForLunch #MoreManThanNatureKnowsWhatToDoWith
9 of 30
10. hey ma! 🎎#wcw 💙
10 of 30
11. Surprise visit to our factories!!! #GoodAmerican #USA
11 of 30
12 of 30
13. Peachy Keen 🔥✨⚡️
13 of 30
14. If this don't look thankful I don't know what does. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. #UltraBlessed #24kMagic #SweetPotatoFly
14 of 30
15. Late nights @nbcmarlon with the writers... we in here!!!
15 of 30
16. There goes my baaaaaaaaabbbbyyyyy #QueenKingMagic!!! We're up to something! Ira BIG!!! Stay out our buisness -
16 of 30
17. You want to win every game you play but when you come home to these faces... who cares. #ILoveYouGirls best part of my day, everyday!
17 of 30
18. Steady,steady..... full size jenga.. "I got this one "???? Or do I ?
18 of 30
19. Cornrows kind of day 😉@dontaysavoy2 you convinced me and I love. ❤️️
19 of 30
20. #BrotherlyLove #tbt
20 of 30
21 of 30
22. #basel #TeamLOVE @kingcombs
22 of 30
23. Just introduced a special screening of @directher 's groundbreaking (must see) documentary @13thfilm with my brother @themichaelealy | @unitedblackout #blackoutblackfriday
23 of 30
24. Me & Vanessa Williams giving #DuckLips #Pose on the set of #DaytimeDivas @vh1 - Coming Soon to a tv near you. Lol. - My make up done by @makeupsurgeon
24 of 30
25. This picture just makes me wanna praise the Lord, you hear me!!!!!! Yes Lord brotha #TEDDYCAMPBELL What a #man !!! You are everything right on this picture husband ......... #gorgeous #stylish #classy #strong #masculine #king #sexy #debonair #gentlemenstyle And that #bible in your hand just seals the deal for me (probably cause i know that, that is what helped you become just as amazing as you look😘). While my heart and mind experiences the goodness of God at #church on Sundays, my eyes experiences the goodness of Teddy😍. Amen somebody🙌🏽. "Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name" #myman #myhusband #goodman #blackman #dapperman #godlyman #goodfather #mybestfriend
25 of 30
26. Yesterday was my mama's 53rd birthday!!!!! Got to celebrate with her all day. If this is what I have to look forward to I can't wait. Looking like a soft bucket a cocoa butter. Yaaaaaaaaaas! 😍😍😍 love you mommy!
26 of 30
27. "Shout out to @PureAtlanta for getting the family right"....I'm loving this jogger. 😍😍
27 of 30
28. This pic warms my heart ❤️ #myLogiebeans and aunt aunt umba @itowandabraxton 😘
28 of 30
29. You will always be my baby😜. #HappyBirthdayReginae #mybaby18
29 of 30
30. GC "Gods Child" Red on Red SweatSuit available now at www.MonicaApparel.com ... Take Your Crown wherever you go!! I'm pictured in a Medium... Go to the site now for other options ... cc: @trukernell
30 of 30