Family planning to sue PBC school district over bullying

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. - "He said, 'I'm gonna hurt you with the knife cause you're such a snitch.' "

Those words didn't seem real to eight-year-old Christian Staley, until he claims a classmate at Seminole Trails Elementary School actually brought a knife to school.

"He threatened another girl. He said 'I'm gonna kill you and cut you open,' " Staley claims.

He says he told the principal and the child was suspended.

Staley claims the bullying continued when the boy returned to school, with the latest alleged incident happening just last week.

"He pulled me back and said, 'If you tell, I'm gonna hurt you,' and then he threw me against the basketball pole...When he had his hand in my face, I pushed him back that's all I did."

It was that reaction which Staley says got him in just as much trouble as the other child with both serving one day of suspension.

Palm Beach County School District spokesperson, Nat Harrington, explains, "The school and district immediately investigated the incident...and took appropriate disciplinary action based on the district discipline policy."

Harrington goes on to say that the district closely evaluates any situation to determine the appropriate punishment for each student.

He explains that the school board has discussed the policy and will once again review it.

But, Craig Goldenfarb, an attorney representing Staley's family, says the policy needs to change immediately.

He says the school district is, "hiding behind what they call the 'no tolerance policy.' They're hiding behind it. No tolerance has been interpreted as, 'We'll just suspend anyone who is involved.' "

As Staley's family announces they'll file suit against the school district, his father hopes that will be the push to protect bullying victims from punishment before the violence goes any further.
 


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