Another incident of middle school bullying put the Clark County School District in the hot seat on Tuesday, four months after White Middle School student Hailee Lamberth committed suicide and pointed to bullying as a reason in her suicide note, according to her father.
In that instance, the school district kept it from Lamberth’s family that another student harassed her three weeks before the suicide, not revealing the bullying report until her father received a tip to request her student file.
This time, it’s two male students from another Henderson campus, Greenspun Junior High School, who allege they were sexually, physically and verbally harassed by other students for months because of their “perceived sexual orientation” but received little help from school officials, according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday against the school district in Nevada’s Eighth Judicial District Court. School police, on multiple occasions, even discouraged the families from filing an official report, according to the lawsuit.
With the help of the American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada, families of the affected students filed a lawsuit against specific district officials — one of whom was involved in the Lamberth case — mostly involving alleged violations of equal protection provided under the Nevada Constitution and the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
The district doesn’t comment on pending litigation, district spokeswoman Melinda Malone said Tuesday.
The boys claim they were shoved, called homophobic names and stabbed with trombones. One of them was stabbed in the groin with a pencil resulting in medical attention, and the other contemplated suicide, according to the lawsuit which details a lack of response from school officials that parallels Jason Lamberth’s experience after his daughter’s suicide.
The boys were 13 at the time, and the incidents are said to have occurred over six months, beginning in August 2011. They were targeted mainly in band class. Nolan asked to be moved away from the perpetrator, but the teacher, Robert Beasley, refused, the lawsuit contends. School district policy requires staff to report all bullying incidents to the principal.
“No such report was made,” according to the lawsuit.
Mary Bryan, the mother of one of the alleged victims, learned of the bullying in September after the groin stabbing and emailed the principal, school counselor and band teacher, asking for action to be taken to protect her son. The school didn’t respond, according to the lawsuit.
Lamberth also struggled to get a response or schedule a meeting with school officials after his daughter’s suicide, struggling for almost two months until he spoke in front of the public at a School Board meeting, telling Superintendent Pat Skorkowsky he won’t go away.
Bryan told the mother of the second victim, Aimee Hairr, of the bullying suffered by the boys. Hairr left a message for principal Warren McKay but also received no response, according to the lawsuit. After months of unproductive back and forth with school administrators, Bryan asked to volunteer as a monitor at the school.
By January 2011, one of the boys confessed that he’d planned suicide. His family filed a complaint with the School Board against Greenspun for a lack of response. After that, when Bryan arrived at the school to be a monitor, she was escorted off campus and told she was not welcome, according to the lawsuit. She met with academic manager Andre Long who said a safety plan would be made for the students, but she never heard back from him.
Long is also the academic manager over White Middle School and met with Lamberth. The father said Long didn’t follow through on his promise to answer questions about his daughter’s case. When the boys’ parents attempted to reach Long, they were told he could no longer assist them, according to the lawsuit.
Parents of the Greenspun students being bullied removed them from the school in early 2012.
Contact Trevon Milliard at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-0279. Find him on Twitter @TrevonMilliard.