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Lawsuit filed against Huntington Beach City School District alleges officials failed to stop bullying

Decorative Scales of Justice in the Courtroom
A parent is taking legal action against the Huntington Beach City School District, alleging district officials neglected to intervene when her son was bullied at Sowers Middle School.
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A parent is taking legal action against the Huntington Beach City School District, alleging district officials neglected to intervene when her son was bullied at Sowers Middle School.

Attorney David M. Nisson filed a lawsuit March 28 in Orange County Superior Court on behalf of the parent and student, whose names were withheld to protect the student’s identity.

For the record:
5:00 PM, Apr. 08, 2019 A previous version of the story included that the teacher in charge of the student’s sixth-grade classroom was not named in edits. The teacher is one is of the defendants named in the lawsuit. The witness is not.

According to the complaint, the bullying occurred daily between 2016 and 2018 when the student was allegedly “threatened, harassed, physically assaulted, humiliated, held against his will, isolated at the back of the classroom” and called a number of derogatory names by other children during school hours.

The lawsuit asserts that district staff should have been aware of the alleged harassment.

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Nisson is requesting a jury trial with Judge Deborah Servino. He is also requesting punitive damages and attorney’s fees.

The school district failed to act when an independent witness reported the “severe bullying” in a sixth-grade classroom, according to the complaint.

The lawsuit argues the student was “unfairly and discriminatorily viewed by his teachers throughout his education as being rude and lazy” and lacked the protections in place to safeguard students with special needs because he was not properly evaluated.

The complaint also argues the student that the alleged bully “never suffered any consequences … ”

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District spokeswoman Cynthia Guerrero did not respond to multiple requests for comment.


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