Minor says school failed to discipline bully

By Kyla Asbury | Mar 20, 2015

FAIRMONT – A Fairmont minor, through is mother, is suing the Marion County Board of Education and its principal for failing to intervene when another child was harassing him.


FAIRMONT – A Fairmont minor, through is mother, is suing the Marion County Board of Education and its principal for failing to intervene when another child was harassing him.


Mary Lister, the principal at West Fairmont Middle School, was also named as a defendant in the suit.


While attending West Fairmont Middle School, D.L. was the victim of consistent and repeated acts of harassment, intimidation, bullying and sexual assault by a student known as S.F., according to a complaint filed March 10 in Marion Circuit Court.


D.L. and his mother, Lakiesha Lloyd claim S.F. began harassing, intimidating and bullying D.L. approximately one month into the 2014-2015 school year and in mid-September, S.F. tackled D.L. while playing a game of dodgeball during recess and after tackling him, S.F. drug him across the ground by his arms for several feet, tearing his pants and leaving him with several cuts and scrapes on his body.


D.L. reported the incident to a teacher, however, S.F. was not disciplined for the incident and no action was taken to prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future, according to the suit.


S.F. verbally harassed, intimidated and bullied D.F. through the use of name calling and derogatory comments and also engaged in physical harassment, intimidation and bullying by pushing and shoving D.L. on a regular basis, according to the suit.


D.L.  claims in November, S.F. attempted to headbutt him and D.L. was forced to push S.F. to avoid being struck. S.F. then began punching him repeatedly and D.L. reported the incident to a teacher, however, S.F. was not disciplined for the hallway incident.


A few days later, S.F. attacked D.L. again and a teacher separated them, however, Lister failed to take appropriate action to prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future, according to the suit.


D.L. claims on Dec. 11, he entered the boy's bathroom and entered an empty bathroom stall and shut the door to the stall. While D.L. was inside the stall, S.F. crawled underneath the stall and yelled "it's humping time!" and pushed D.L. against the bathroom stall door, placed his arms around him and grasped him.


D.L. claims he was unable to escape from S.F. and that S.F. was thrusting his pelvic region against him in a sexual nature and made moaning sounds to imitate a person engaged in sexual intercourse.


When D.L. was able to escape, he went directly to his teacher and informed her of what happened in the bathroom stall and Carol Jones wrote D.L. a note to the principal's office, however, when he arrived in the principal's office, D.L. was informed the principal was in a meeting and could not speak with him, according to the suit.


D.L. claims he was unable to speak with the principal about the bathroom stall incident and was sent back to class with S.F. The following day, Lloy informed the assistant principal of the incident and spoke to the superintendent about the incident, but no action was taken to prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future.


On Dec. 15, D.L. drew a picture of his mother in art class and S.F. grabbed the picture and tore it into pieces. When D.L. informed the art teacher, the teacher told him not to worry about it, but did not discipline S.F. for the incident, according to the suit.


D.L. claims the next day, S.F. asked a substitute teacher out loud during class whether or not he could punch D.L. and was never disciplined for the incident.


In January, the Marion Board of Education was advised by letter of the incidents involving S.F. and, despite being on notice of the harassment, the defendants failed to take appropriate action to prevent incidents from occurring in the future, according to the suit.


D.L. claims he has suffered and will continue to suffer great physical, mental, psychological and emotional injuries and damages.


D.L. and Lloyd are seeking compensatory and punitive damages with pre- and post-judgment interest. They are being represented by Jared T. Moore of the Moore Law Firm PLLC.


Marion Circuit Court case number: 15-C-58

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