Bullying in our schools has become a national epidemic. The cruelest place
in the world is the playground and, with the explosion of social media,
kids can't even find a safe haven at home. It happens every day and
knows no geographic, demographic or socioeconomic boundaries.
In some cases, the relentless name-calling, taunting, threats, ridicule
and harassment turns physical—with victims being tripped, pushed
and hit. Bullying instills fear, anxiety and depression in its victims—sometimes
with tragic consequences. We've all seen cases in the news where children
were driven to take their own lives—"bullycide."
Schools have a duty to
your child from bullying, but too often they look the other way or downplay
it: "Kids will be kids."
Attorney Thomas Blessing has some experience in representing victims and
their parents to find justice. In fact, Thomas Blessing represented the
mother of the bullying victim in a lawsuit against Greensburg Community
Schools after, a then 15-year-old student, Billy Lucas, was discovered
deceased in his family's barn from apparent suicide.
The wrongful death lawsuit was filed by Thomas Blessing, (Attorney with
Hollingsworth & Zivitz) and claims Lucas was a target for bullyingbecause
of several personal characteristics, including his attention deficit hyperactivity
disorder (ADHD), his ethnicity and his
perceived sexual orientation. The suit implicates... To read the full story,
Mr. Blessing goes on to explain that it was not just the kids who caused
the victim to feel bullied, saying "the peers ridiculing him and
harassing him was bad enough, but when the
teachers stood there
let it happen when it occurred physically in their presence, they would say things or
make comments as well," To read more
click here. He went on to say that "to the extended the school let him be subjected
to this kind of
torment is inexcusable. The school
violated the law by not taking steps to protect him.
Read more here.
Mr. Blessing "is seeking
compensatory and punitive damages, as well as attorney
fees and other costs associated with the lawsuit." on behalf of the victim's
mother. To Read more
The news of Billy's death was the
catalyst that prompted nationally syndicated columnist Dan Savage and his partner
Terry Miller, both victims of bullying themselves, to launch a project titled
"It Gets Better." To read more about this story
To read a copy of the lawsuit,
Thomas Blessing was interviewed by WISH TV Channel 8 regarding the lawsuit
against the school district. To see the full interview,
If your child is being bullied at school, the Indiana education attorneys
of Hollingsworth & Zivitz may be able to help. Over the years we have
represented several children who have been bullied, assaulted or sexually
harassed at school. If you believe your child is a victim of bullying,
contact a member of our Education Law team at 317/569-2200 or visit