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Bullying lawsuit stalled

Alissa Widman Neese • Dec 3, 2013 at 4:30 PM

Those involved are still awaiting a ruling from Magistrate Judge James Knepp in federal court in Toledo.

Linda and Patrick Waters filed the suit in March 2012, after their two sons allegedly endured two years of harassment at the hands of their classmates. They withdrew the students from the district in August 2011.

This July, both the Waters family and Perkins Schools filed requests, asking Knepp to rule in their favor on the case. That was the most recent development.

Many situations described in the Waters lawsuit are similar to those described in a lawsuit a former Bellevue Schools parent filed in federal court Nov. 22. In both lawsuits, parents claim their respective districts were indifferent toward the repeated, racially motivated bullying.

In the Waters case, students physically and verbally bullied their sons, who were regular targets of racial slurs at Briar Middle School and Meadowlawn Intermediate School, according to the lawsuit.

The boys, who were 11 and 14 when their parents filed the lawsuit, are of Cuban descent, with dark complexions, according to the suit.

The family is seeking compensation and punitive damages from Perkins Schools, as well as court costs and attorney fees, because of both physical and emotional damages, according to their lawsuit.

Defendants listed on the suit include district superintendent Jim Gunner, school board member Brian Printy, middle school principal Stephen Finn and former intermediate school principal Dean Janitzki.

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