Mom says middle school bully left son with severe brain damage

Mom says bully left son with brain damage

A California mother is suing a charter school, alleging that a bullying incident left her son with severe brain damage. The woman said school officials did nothing to stop the incident.

"That child I dropped off at 7:30 that morning, he is not the same anymore," said the mother, who did not want her name used. She said that school officials at Ánimo Westside Charter Middle School in Los Angeles didn't do enough to protect her son from a school bully.    

"That hurts because that's all I have..." she added. "It could've been prevented, only if someone cared."  

In January 2018, school surveillance cameras showed a small boy getting off the bus and being approached by a much larger boy, who punched him and allegedly put him in a choke hold. A staff member walked by at one point, but didn't intervene. 

The boy allegedly lost consciousness twice. He was eventually helped inside, where staff members brought him to the main office, laid him down on the floor, and called his mother.  

The mother said that when she arrived, no one had called 911. "My son is literally laying there still, in the middle of the office floor, completely black and blue," she said.

"The school district has seen the video," said Ben Meiselas, the attorney representing the woman and her son. "The fact that they can watch that video and not so much offer an apology is really, really, really disgusting."

According to the complaint, the boy suffered permanent brain and spine damage, as well as post-traumatic sleep disorder. 

The organization Green Dot, which runs the charter school, wrote in a statement that "We take seriously the safety of all our students and quickly address bullying of any kind on our campuses. We promptly and thoroughly investigate any complaint and take appropriate corrective action."  

The boy's mother said she wants an apology, and that she can't believe that the bully was never expelled.

"I think across the board there should be discipline," Meiselas said. "And I think that can include termination." The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages.