Legal news for Pennsylvania personal injury attorney’s. Middle school student’s constant ridicule led to an eating disorder.
Pennsylvania personal injury attorney- A parent of a Frick Middle School student filed a federal lawsuit for continual harassment and a eating disorder.
Pittsburgh, PA—A federal lawsuit was filed against the Pittsburgh Public Schools, Frick Middle School, and the middle school’s principal, Wayne Walters, by the mother of a student who was harassed in school about her weight. According to the lawsuit, the harassing began when the girl was in the sixth grade during the 2006-2007 school year, as reported by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
According to the lawsuit, administrators of the middle school knew her daughter was being teased over her weight, and the lack of the administration’s action, and lack of notification to her parents, led to the girl’s anorexia disorder. The continual harassment also caused the girl to seek mental health treatment and withdrawal from the school. The girl’s mother, who is unidentified, states the school is in violation of Title IX, which states students, have the right to be free from a hostile educational environment. The student, who is referred to as B.G., was allegedly harassed and teased by a group of boys on a daily basis. The lawsuit states the three boys teased her with sexual and offensive comments, which conveyed the message B.G. was fat and unattractive. B.G. would often cry in class due to the constant ridicule, and in March 2007, a teacher sent her to the guidance counselor’s office. Darlene Epps, a guidance counselor at the school, apparently did not stop the teasing or notify B.G.’s mother of the ongoing harassment. The harassment reportedly stopped for a short time after the visit with the guidance counselor, but then it started again soon after. Some students allegedly tried to stop the boys from teasing B.G., but the school administrators, or faculty did nothing to stop the situation. After the summer break, in the seventh grade, two more boys joined in on the teasing. The boys would tease B.G. about her lunch, and would call her fat, as she would try to eat it. Eventually the teasing led her to toss out her lunch instead of eating it, in hopes to avoid the ridicule. A December 2007 bowling field trip, the boys changed the girls name on the bowling scoreboard screen to a degrading name. The chaperone’s reportedly did nothing. Shortly after B.G. notified her mother of what was going on at school.
B.G.’s mother went to the school in January 2008, and discovered the administrators knew of the ongoing harassment. By this time, B.G. had developed anorexia nervosa from the constant ridicule. An investigation into the matter by the school led to the boys being suspended from school for one day. In February, B.G. was admitted to the Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic to treat her eating disorder, and her weight dropped to unsafe levels. B.G. now reportedly attends a private school.
Legal News Reporter: Nicole Howley- Legal news for Pennsylvania personal injury lawyers.