Posted: Aug 7, 2012 1:25 PM
LOUISVILLE (AP) - The mother of a middle school student claims in a lawsuit that her son was bullied by other students because he was interested in cheerleading, and said school officials did nothing to protect her son.
Bekishia Cosby said Tuesday her son did not want to go back to school and contemplated suicide after being bullied at Thomas Jefferson Middle School in Louisville during the last school year. Cosby sued Jefferson County Public Schools, claiming they were "part of the problem."
"They've done nothing. A lot of promises weren't kept. This has just gone too far," said Cosby, whose lawsuit seeks unspecified damages.
Ben Jackey, a spokesman for Jefferson County Public Schools, said the district does not comment on pending litigation.
Kentucky bars bullying in schools and requires school employees to report it to the principal within 48 hours, who is in turn required to file a written report with the local board of education and either police or the commonwealth's attorney, which investigate the allegation. The principal is also required to notify the parents or guardians of the student.
Another similar lawsuit brings the number to eight complaints filed against Jefferson County Public Schools in the last year.
"We're asking for justice in a court of law because we're not getting it" with the school system, said attorney Teddy Gordon, who represents the families in the eight lawsuits.
In the two recent cases against Jefferson County, the students alleged that they were subjected to homophobic slurs. The other six suits also involve allegations of bullying or harassment at schools in the county. One case has been set for trial in January.
Tara Hunt, the mother of another student involved in the lawsuits, said her son was mocked because of the way he speaks.
"They called him gay," Hunt said. "He just wants to hurt himself."
Crystal Bennett, whose daughter went to Lassiter Middle School in Louisville, also sued Tuesday, claiming six students harassed and sexually assaulted her child on a school bus last year. The students were suspended, but allowed to return to classes with her daughter after two weeks, said Bennett, whose daughter will attend Noe Middle School this year.
"I send my child to school ... to get a good education, not to be touched on," Bennett said.
Gordon has repeatedly done legal battle with Jefferson County Public Schools over how students are assigned to schools.
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