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School Sued in Suicide of Bullied Youth; Harassment Was Taped and Posted to YouTube

Posted Mar 30, 2011 7:32 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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The family of a 13-year-old eighth grader who committed suicide claims in a lawsuit that his Texas school was aware of constant bullying but did little to stop it.

The suit filed Monday in Dallas says Jon Carmichael was “bullied, harassed and called names, every day,” the Cleburne Times-Review reports.

According to the suit, students forced Carmichael’s head into a toilet and threw him in a trash bin. Shortly before his death, Carmichael was stripped nude and thrown into a trash bin again. The incident was videotaped and briefly posted on YouTube, the suit says.

Defendants include the Joshua school district, school officials and teachers. The Dallas Morning News also has coverage.

The family’s lawyer, Martin Cirkiel of Round Rock, said the family filed suit because it hopes to prevent other suicides.

Most lawyers won’t take bullying cases, Cirkiel told the Times-Review. “We’re a step ahead of some others because of the legal climate,” he said. “We take these because we feel it’s the right thing to do. Bullying issues need to be kept in the forefront.”

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