Education Law

Suit Claims School Didn’t Prevent Bullying That Drove Autistic Youth to Suicide

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The parents of a 17-year-old autistic youth who committed suicide last October claim in a lawsuit that his Georgia school district and its principal failed to prevent the bullying that led to his depression.

The federal lawsuit filed by the parents of Tyler Lee Long claims the school violated the youth’s right to equal protection, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. Long had been diagnosed with Asperger’s disorder, a form of autism that causes social anxiety, the story says.

The boy’s mother, Tina Long, told the newspaper her son had been close to earning a black belt in karate, but it wasn’t in his nature to hurt anyone, including the bullies who taunted and hit him. “He hated school,” Tina Long told the Journal-Constitution. “They would spit in his food, call him ‘gay,’ smack him and say, ‘I can’t wait until you are six feet under!’ A lot of [the] time he would go to the counselor’s office and call me. We complained, but nothing much was done.”

The Murray County School District in Chatsworth, Ga., is one of the defendants. In a statement, the district said it is confident the facts will show no fault on its part.

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