Family sues school over alleged bullying incident
POSTED: Saturday, September 14, 2013 - 3:49pm
UPDATED: Monday, September 16, 2013 - 9:08am
Atlanta, GA (CNN) — The family of a Georgia middle school student has filed a lawsuit claiming Atlanta Public Schools did nothing to address bullying and a brutal attack that could have killed their son.
"What are you going to do to keep the kids safe? What are you going to do relative to the bullies?"
Those are the questions Jeff Del Bagno says Atlanta Public School officials never answered in the year since he says a group of students bullied and attacked his son Jeffrey in Inman Middle School's gym.
"These guys did what the football team called a bullpen attack on Jeffrey."
These pictures show the bruises and swelling on Jeffrey's face following the September 2012 incident.
His father says Jeffrey was standing with other members of the football team when several teammates encircled him.
"The guy in the back would push you into the guy in the front while he would punch you and the guys on the side would simultaneously attack."
According to a lawsuit filed Friday in Fulton County Superior Court, Jeffrey's nose was broken in 3 places, requiring surgery and months of recovery.
Paperwork from his doctor says the bone was millimeters away from causing a life-threatening injury.
"Five percent of his sinuses were crushed and caved in he was left with five percent breathing capacity."
But the Del Bagnos say Inman Administrators never documented the incident, never called police to make a report or disciplined the students involved.
Del Bagno tells us the bullying had been a problem for a year before the attack, something they documented in e-mails to school officials.
But a letter from Atlanta Public School two months after the alleged attack says they were unaware of any problems.
"The highest levels of APS said we have no record of this ever happening."
Del Bagno's says he tried for months to see what safety plan the school would put in place moving forward but never got a clear response.
"We don't want this to happen to any other parent ever, for any other parent to have to go through this."
An Atlanta Public Schools representative says they are aware of the lawsuit and are unable to make any comment because it is a pending legal matter.