Family Sues School Over Bullying Victim's Suicide

By Jeremy Kinser

Originally published on Advocate.com September 08 2012 5:14 PM ET

The mother of William "Billy" Lucas, a 15-year-old boy who committed suicide in 2010 after being bullied, is suing the school he attended for not protecting him and possibly even contributing to his harassment, reports Think Progress.

Indianapolis Attorney Tom Blessing has filed a wrongful death lawsuit which claims Lucas was a target of bullying because he suffered from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), his ethnicity, and because some classmates thought he was gay.

Lucas was found dead in his family's barn September 9, 2010, after committing suicide.

Greensburg Community Junior High School's Principal Rodney King, Assistant Principal David Strouse and school employees Iris Ramp and Darci Kovacic hare directly implicated in the suit.

The suit states, "King and Strouse had actual knowledge that [Lucas] was being harassed but turned a blind eye to the harassment. At one point King told W.L., 'If someone beat you up, I wouldn’t know whether to give him an award or suspend him.' [...] Ramp and Kovacich witnessed students harassing and bullying W.L. on multiple occasions yet did nothing to prevent or stop it. In fact, Ramp and Kovacich not only ignored the harassment of W.L. by other students at the School, but in some cases encouraged and even actively participated in the harassment of W.L. themselves. Ramp and Kovacich verbally insulted, ridiculed, and abused W.L. in front of his peers on multiple occasions."

Lucas's mother isn't the first parent to sue a school for not protecting a student. In April Darnell “Dynasty” Young, a 17-year-old high school student, who identifies as gay, was expelled after using a stun gun to fend off bullies. His family says they reported the harrassment several times to school officials who blamed Young for being "too flamboyant." Earlier this month Young and his mother filed a federal lawsuit against Indianapolis Public Schools.