The parents of a 15-year-old boy who committed suicide in 2013 after being bullied for years are suing the town of Greenwich, Connecticut, and the Board of Education for not protecting him.
Bart Palosz, originally from Poland, killed himself with his father’s shotgun after his first day of school as a sophomore following years of abuse by his peers.
Although Bart never complained, his parents made frequent trips to his school to reprimand officials there for not doing more to protect their son, who repeatedly had his head smashed into lockers.
School administrators told the parents a social worker needed to be involved, but then didn’t take any steps to help Bart or punish his bullies.
“We feel this lawsuit is important so that other students in Greenwich don’t suffer the same kind of treatment that Bart did. It is our hope that this lawsuit will result in changes to how the Greenwich school system responds to students in need of help so that there will be no more needless deaths.”
Bart’s parents describe him as a socially awkward teenager who was called names by his schoolmates and had his brand new Android phone destroyed by his bullies.
The bullying began in middle school and continued up through high school until his death. At first, his older sister Beata was able to give him some protection from his bullies, but that ended when she graduated. The first day of the next school year, Bart took his own life.
The parents’ lawyer, David Golub, says school documents show officials knew about Bart’s bullying but failed to act.
“The middle school sharings document is a smoking gun. It shows that the school system knew, but ignored the Board of Education’s anti-bullying procedures.”
Bullying has become a hot-button issue in America.
Last week, a federal judge dismissed a similar suit by a family who claimed the Nevada school district was responsible for their daughter’s suicide because they didn’t do enough to protect her.
In April, the family of 15-year-old Audrie Pott settled with the families of two teenage boys after they raped and then cyberbullied her.
Earlier this month, an Illinois father was arrested for allegedly trying to run down a group of elementary kids who were harassing his daughter. Roy Williams Jr., 56, was confronting the group over a fight they got into with his daughter at a school bus stop.
Should schools be required to do more to protect kids from bullies?