Students Awarded Large Settlement from School District in Bullying Trial
Six students in Minnesota are happy with the outcome of their lawsuit against the largest school district in the state. The students recently sued the Anoka Hennepin School District due to the bullying they faced at school and were awarded a $270,000 settlement on March 5, 2012. The school district will also have to hire a consultant to help students who are being bullied for their sexual orientation and who will also develop a plan to help prevent this bullying from occurring in the first place.
“We wanted to make change, we wanted to make systematic change and we just wouldn’t have been able to do that without it,” said Rebecca Rooker, the mother of one of the students who was bullied, Kyle.
The bullying that Kyle suffered at his school was so bad that he moved out of the district to escape it.
“At my old school kids called me names, shoved me into lockers, desks, and walls. I was even urinated upon in a restroom,” Kyle said. “I’m glad that kids coming up behind me in school won’t have to suffer the same things that I did. I’ve already seen change and I want these kids to know in the future that they’re going to be safe.”
Another student who was bullied for being gay, Dylon Frei, said he has not been a victim of bullying for over a month, and this is the longest amount of time in his life without bullying that he can remember.
“Just because I’m gay doesn’t mean I’m different form anybody else,” Frei said. “We all should be treated equally.”
All of the students involved in this lawsuit plan to put aside their winnings to help pay for college.
Sadly, students being bullied for their sexual orientation is not something that only occurs in this school district. Nationwide, GLBT students are bullied on a daily basis, and in some cases, this bullying leads the students to attempt or commit suicide. Hopefully this case will have far reaching consequences and will cause schools to better defend their students from bullying.
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