The family of a Sherwood teenager allegedly bullied and beaten by another high school student has filed a federal lawsuit against the Sherwood School District and the family of the boy.
The civil lawsuit claims that school administrators and the teen's parents knew he was a bully in middle school but failed to intervene.
Citing a violation of his client's civil rights under the fifth and fourteenth amendments, attorney Steven M. McCarthy, filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Portland.
The case dates back to 2009, when the boy, listed by the initials MEL, was 14 and a freshman at Sherwood High School.
According to the lawsuit, he inadvertently bumped into an older student, listed as DKL, 15, who started bullying and harassing MEL. The problems culminated over a month into an "unprovoked" attack on the younger student.
According to the lawsuit, DKL confronted MEL in a hallway and punched him in the face, as a crowd of students looked on. The blow knocked out a front tooth and broke the boy's nose. DKL then used a leg sweep to knock down the younger student.
The family is seeking $275,000 in non-economic damages and at least $15,000 in dental surgery bills for an artificial tooth.
DKL was found guilty of fourth-degree assault in Washington County Juvenile Court related to the incident at Sherwood High School, according to the Washington County District Attorney's office.
School district officials in Sherwood and DKL's parents could not be reached for comment Friday.
The lawsuit alleges that all of the adults should have known DKL "posed an immediate and continuous threat of intentional random violence, anti-social, disruptive and predatory behaviors" based on his conduct at Sherwood Middle, which was brought to the attention of the defendants. Among the allegations is that the district treated DKL differently because he was a top athlete.
The lawsuit claims the school district's discipline policies and code of conduct were ineffective, the school lacked proper supervision and district staff was not properly trained regarding bullying.
McCarthy said the school district has 60 days from the filing date to respond.