HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WPDE) — The parent of a 14-year-old boy filed a lawsuit against the Horry County School District Friday, claiming faculty and students bullied the disabled child, before he committed suicide.
The lawsuit says the child, who is referred to as T.I. in documents, attended Aynor Middle School and was autistic.
It says the condition impaired his social skills and had a negative impact on social interactions with peers.
While T.I. was a student at Aynor Middle School, the lawsuit says the child became the victim of "regular and outrageous disability-based bullying and harassment by his classmates and by faculty."
It says the "bullying and harassment were well known to the teachers and administrators of the school," and claims it happened in their presence.
It continues, claiming the teachers and administrators took no action to prevent it from continuing.
Specifically, it says T.I. was repeatedly "subjected to verbal and physical bullying, despite notice of this ongoing disability-based bullying, without properly investigating or responding to these incidents."
It calls HCSD's actions were "careless, reckless, and in violation of its own policies and procedures, industry standards, and state or federal law," and says as a result, T.I. committed suicide in December 2017.
It says HCSC was also aware of "the plague of school bullying and assault within its district, with multiple civil lawsuits having been filed against the HCSD in the past five years alleging bullying and assault."
The lawsuit claims there is "a systemic failure by Defendant HCSD to appropriately address school bullying."
The lawsuit was filed by Kimberly Debreczeni, who the lawsuit identifies as T.I.'s parent and personal representative.