Two Pinellas Co., Fla. families sue schools over bullying


By ROD CHALLENGER
Tampa Tribune
At least two families are suing the Pinellas County school district over allegations of bullying.

Velma Newman, the mother of one victim, said she wants to force the school district to take action so that other children don’t end up like her son.

Her son, Jerrard Jackson, 14, is an 8th grade honor student. His mother described him as very outgoing before he became a victim of bullies at Azalea Middle School in March.

Newman said despite her pleas to school officials to protect her son, bullies beat him, hurting his arm, chipping a tooth and cutting his lip.

“When this situation happened, he shut down completely,” she said. She added that he stays “in his room and doesn’t come out.”

Darryl Rouson, the family’s lawyer, said he filed the lawsuit to get the school district’s attention after school officials refused to talk about the problem.

“We want the schools to react strongly and firmly so that all of our children feel safe,” explained Rouson.

Newman said most of the bullies are still at Azalea intimidating her son.

“He shouldn’t come home and tell me he’s hungry and the reason he’s hungry is because he’s afraid to go in the lunchroom,” she said. Full story.

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