Legal news for Maryland personal injury attorneys – An eight-year-old girl with cerebral palsy reportedly attempted suicide after being severely bullied. Three kids suspended.
Little girl transferred to new school after being tormented by bullies.
Baltimore, MD (www.NewYorkInjuryNews.com) – A third-grade girl with cerebral palsy reportedly attempted suicide after battling repeated verbal and physical attacks from fellow students at Gilmor Elementary School, as reported by the Baltimore Sun.
Three students have been suspended for the incident, but some teachers and union officials claim there is a serious culture of student violence within the West Baltimore school that remains unaddressed.
Geneva Biggus, mother of eight-year-old Shaniya Boyd, stated the youngster attempted to jump out of a window at the school on April 20, after she was teased, knocked off her crutches and kicked repeatedly in the forehead by a boy. Biggus said the little girl told her “she just wanted to get away.”
The executive director of student support for city schools, Jonathan Brice, reported the teacher who witnessed the events reported a different story. He said Shaniya was not at a window, but was taken to a nurse’s office after commenting on her want to commit suicide.
The teacher did acknowledge the attack on the girl, though.
Brice claimed he was unaware of any pattern of violent behavior or bullies within the elementary school. He told reporters, “At no time was the central office flagged that a certain student at Gilmor was experiencing that kind of behavior.”
An ex-Gilmor teacher claims to have quit the school due to rampant bullying. Tammy Matthews taught fifth grade at the school for two years and finally quit February 19, 2010, because of the unbearable student behavior. She now teaches in North Carolina.
Matthews claimed she spoke up at meetings with the school’s administration about the attacks on students and teachers, and that she was downgraded from her teaching position as a result of reporting the bullying.
Marietta English, president of the Baltimore Teachers Union, spoke with the school teachers and addressed complaints of student abuse on Tuesday, April 27, 2010. She claimed she was intervening because, “no one’s doing anything about it.”
The executive director of the Maryland-based Mariposa Child Success Programs, Dr. Anne Townsend, explained her views on the rampant bullying problem within the school as, “I don’t believe they’re just ignoring the problem; they truly don’t know what to do with it.”
The West Baltimore school system has received 105 bullying complaints for the school year so far. Last year, there were 79 complaints.
Shaniya Boyd’s mother transferred her to a new school. She started her first day at Langston Hughes Elementary on Tuesday April 27, 2010, a week after the reported suicide attempt.
The little girl was reportedly excited and ready for her new environment.
Legal News Reporter: Tara Monks – Legal news for Maryland personal injury lawyers.