N.J. School: Parents of Straight Bullied Son Should ’Enroll Him in Sports’
A New Jersey school has been slammed with a federal lawsuit by parents who say their son was constantly physically assaulted and verbally harassed by classmates and even a school volunteer because they all thought he was gay, the New Civil Rights Movement reported.
The family, who is unnamed (most likely to protect the student’s identity), spoke to school officials a number of times about the daily bullying their child was allegedly enduring. The parents talked to administrators and two school district superintendents who told them that their son should "make new friends," "enroll in sports," or move out of the school district.
The family eventually took the officials’ advice, sold their home and moved out of the district.
"In Newark, plaintiffs D.O. and D.O. say they noticed problems with their child, C.O., who came home each day from Pine Lake Elementary School bruised crying and depressed," according to the Courthouse News Service.
The complaint says that the child "indicated to his parents that his classmates were bullying him both at school and after school due to the perception that C.O. was ’gay."
"On a daily basis during this time C.O. was called ’gay,’ ’fag’ and ’girl’ by his classmates. C.O. was also completely ostracized and shunned by his classmates and was forced to spend all time at school alone due to his classmates’ perception that C.O. was gay," the document says. "During the aforementioned time period, C.O., was asked by numerous classmates, often many times in a single day as to whether he was ’gay.’ The other students’ contempt for C.O. would often be displayed before large groups of his peers and he was constantly laughed at and demeaned due to his perceived sexual orientation."
After the parents witnessed the harassment occur from their own front lawn, they asked the school’s principal to handle the situation. But the bullying still continued, the parents claim. After phone calls and several meetings the principal "advised D.O. that he should consider taking C.O. to ’another school district.’"
The parents were "desperate to stop the harassment and abuse of their son at Pine Lakes, D.O. and D.O. met with Director of Elementary Schools for the District, [defendant] Maryrose Caulfield-Sloan," the complaint says.