WALPOLE, MASS. (WHDH) - A 15-year-old Walpole girl claims in a lawsuit filed Tuesday in federal court that the town’s school officials failed to protect her from being harassed, brutally attacked and bullied by a group of girls during her freshman year.
The girl and her mother reported the harassment, which included threats of violence, to school officials but they did nothing to investigate or create a safety plan, contrary to the requirements of the state’s anti-bullying law and the district’s bullying plan, according to court documents.
They are suing the Town of Walpole, Principal Stephen Imbusch, Assistant Principal Lee Tobey and Superintendent Lincoln Lynch for causing “emotional distress, pain, and suffering.”
The documents indicated that one of the bullies attacked the girl at school, striking her several times in the head and leaving her with a concussion, as well as ongoing symptoms that “interrupted her studies and left her isolated, depressed, alone, and afraid.”
The victim, who is said to be a hockey player and a honors student, was regularly called hurtful names in the hallways and at one point told to kill herself, the documents said.
The documents also detail messages sent to the victim on social media, which show the bullies mocked her sister’s passing, suggested she get a Glock to harm herself and labeled her as a “whore,” among other things.
School Resources Officer Tim Songin brushed the messages off as “girls being girls” and Tobey said there was “nothing the school could do about it but that she would require the girls to write letters of apology,” the lawsuit alleges.
The lawsuit noted that the victim lost 25 pounds over the course of her freshman year due to stress and anxiety.
Attorney Joseph Sulman is representing the victim and her family.
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