Thursday, April 25, 2013

Emotional or Psychological Violence can be more Detrimental then Physical Violence


Districts  must take responsibility for what goes on their schools. Bullying is violence and as I have stated before violence does not have to be physical.  Emotional or psychological violence can be even more detrimental because parents and schools tend to believe that it is impossible for a child to be injured unless the bullied child is physically assaulted or battered.  Not true. Months or even years of psychological abuse can cause tremendous emotional harm to anyone, especially a child. Psychological abuse can cause severe depression that may lead to self harm such as cutting or suicide.

Currently there is a wrongful death lawsuit in York-Poquoson Circuit Court that alleges four Grafton High employees failed to stop the bullying of student Christian Taylor, who committed suicide May 31, 2010.  The lawsuit is for 10 million dollars.  Even though the suicide occurred in the home of the victim, the lawsuit alleges that Christian was relentlessly bullied and the school failed to stop the bullying to the point that the emotional distress was so overwhelming the child took his life. 


Grafton High employees tried to stop bullying

April 24, 2013|By Amanda Kerr, | 757-247-4733
YORK — Did Grafton High School administrators do enough to stop the bullying of a student who committed suicide?
That was the focus of testimony Wednesday in York-Poquoson Circuit Court where a jury continued to listen to evidence in a $10 million wrongful death lawsuit that alleges four Grafton High employees failed to stop the bullying of student Christian Taylor, who committed suicide May 31, 2010.

Taylor's mother, Alise Williams, filed the lawsuit in July 2010. The lawsuit names former Grafton High Principal Paul Hopkins, former Assistant Principal Craig Reed, current Assistant Principal Karen Fahringer and current Guidance Counselor Joseph Erfe as defendants.
Two students and friends of Taylor testified that on the day of his death, Taylor didn't display any obvious signs of emotional distress and didn't tell anyone that he was feeling suicidal.
Kendra Lowder testified that she and another friend found Taylor hanging in his bedroom closet with a dog leash around his neck. Taylor didn't leave a note.
Lowder said Taylor became depressed after enduring bullying at school. Even after school administrators moved the group of alleged bullies to another table in the cafeteria, Lowder said the group would still walk by Taylor and make mean comments.
Reed and Hopkins testified that they took a number of steps to stop any bullying. Hopkins said the administrators spoke with the alleged bullies and had them sign behavioral contracts, called their parents, separated them from Taylor and his friends in the cafeteria, and shadowed Taylor between classes to make sure he wasn't bullied.
Williams' attorney, Joseph Stellute, asked Hopkins why the bullies didn't receive more "formal discipline" such as a suspension which the student code of conduct identified as a punishment for bullying. Hopkins said they didn't have enough conclusive evidence.

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