Federal Jury Orders School District to Pay Student for Ignoring Pattern of Bullying

Thursday, April 01, 2010

School districts across America may now have to be more vigilant about student bullying and harassment in the wake of a landmark court case in Michigan. Hudson Area Schools has been ordered to pay a former student $800,000 for ignoring Dane Patterson’s repeated complaints about students who taunted and subjected him to humiliating behavior.

Patterson said the bullying began in middle school and escalated during high school. He was shoved into lockers and called “faggot,” and a teammate on the school baseball team rubbed his genitals in Patterson’s face.
Glenn Stutzky, a Michigan State University instructor and an expert on bullying, told the Detroit Free Press the verdict will have “implications across the nation.” The case is especially significant because school officials did take some action, including expelling the baseball player who sexually assaulted Patterson.
In a related case, a 15-year-old Irish immigrant girl, Phoebe Prince, committed suicide after being taunted repeatedly by her classmates at South Hadley High School in western Massachusetts. That situation has resulted in a local prosecutor bringing criminal charges against nine teenagers.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
Court Awards Bullied Student $800,000 (by Peggy Walsh-Sarnecki, Detroit Free Press)
East Lansing Advocate: Jury Award Should Impact Bullying (by Kathleen Lavey, Lansing State Journal)
David Patterson and Dena Paterson v. Hudson Area Schools and Kathy Malnar (U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit) (pdf)
Anger Turns Toward Staff in Bullying Case (by Peter Schworm and Milton J. Valencia, Boston Globe)
9 Teenagers Are Charged After Classmate’s Suicide (by Erik Eckholm and Katie Zezima, New York Times)


Joseph Conrad 14 years ago
When school districts face 100's of Million of judgements for REFUSING to protect and adequately educate their 'charges', they well examine their behavior and performance with more urgency. Since the 1960's, the quality of the US public school system has gone the way of h national public health system - DOWN THE TOILET. The folks responsible are the same Racist, Arrogant, Greedy, Egotistical and Self-Aggrandizing hyporites now calling themselves Teaparty members. White Americans have the fate and future of this nation in their hands. If they do not JAIL the 150 Wealthy Old White Men who're RAPING, LOOTING, PILLAGING & ROBBING America within the next YEAR, this nation will descend into Violence, Chaos & blatant Socio-Political Depravity. Non-white Americans are too few nd too 'marginalized' to do what is clearly ncessary - the JAILING of America's prodigal degenerate elites.

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