Parents of suicide victim sue Joshua ISD

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by CASEY NORTON

WFAA

Posted on April 1, 2011 at 10:59 AM

JOSHUA -  Sometimes children who are bullied feel as if they have no way out. Jon Carmichael was such a person who was bullied so much he took his own life. It has been one year since his death.

Carmichael's parents are suing the school district. They said in a lawsuit against Joshua Independent School District that school officials knew about the attacks, but did nothing to stop or help Jon. 

"The last week of his life, they had stripped him down and tied him up and gagged him, threw him in a trashcan," said Tami Carmichael, victim's mother. "Put it on their phones and supposedly put it on Youtube."

Tami is suing the district, the superintendent, the board president, counselor and  three teachers. She claims they watched as the bullies  pick on her son at Loflin Middle School, but they did nothing to stop the abuse, even when he expressed suicidal thoughts.

"They have my phone number, they have my husband's phone number, they've got my daughter's phone number....report it!" Tami said. "But they didn't and it could have saved him."

The lawsuit alleges that Joshua schools ignored their own policy and accuses administrators of hiding video evidence of the bullying and Jon's private journal.

"The district does not believe its at fault, they will vigorously defend that position," said Rhonda Crass, Joshua ISD attorney.

The district has not been served court documents.

Tami said the lawsuit is not about money, but changing the culture of bullying in the district.  

"That's the only reason I am doing this, is for the children," Tami said. "To make it where they feel good about walking through those doors and doing their school work."

Email: cnorton@wfaa.com

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