A family in Washington State is seeking $20 million dollars from the Everett School District, alleging their son was relentlessly bullied and ruthlessly beaten, all because he is gay.
The family claims the district allowed an environment where hate crimes could flourish — and even be put on the internet. At least two videos were posted on social media showing the student being jumped by a group of students who throw him to the ground where he is kicked and punched.
The parents say on two occasions the school had the perpetrators sign a contract saying they would have no contact with the boy, but the harassment continued.
The parents have filed an administrative claim against the Everett School District alleging it allowed “hate crimes” to be committed and “failed to provide a safe learning environment” for the seventh grader.
The 13-year-old’s parents, Nicole and Doug Stanford, say the images are “burned into their brains.”
“It’s terrible. It’s our one job to keep him safe and the only place we can’t keep him safe is at school,” said Doug Stanford.
The teen’s parents say it started on the very first day of school when their son was pushed off his school bus and told not to return because he is gay.
“I live in a constant state of fear that my son is going to take his life. Constant,” said Nicole Stanford.
The couple took their child out of school in May but say those perpetrating the violence were allowed to stay.
A spokesperson for the school district declined to comment except to say the district will investigate the allegations. It has 60 days to do so.