HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) — A mother filed a lawsuit Monday against Horry County Schools after she said her son with disabilities was assaulted at school.
The student, who is referred to in the lawsuit as H.J., has a disability, and was the victim of repeated bullying at Green Sea Floyds High School, according to the lawsuit.
The mother claims H.J. was assaulted in the locker room in October, resulting in him and other students being suspended for a week. During the suspension, the mother claims she had reached out to the school and expressed her concern that H.J. would be targeted or retaliated against due to prior bullying incidents, according to the lawsuit.
The district allegedly assured that steps would be taken to keep H.J. from being a target of retaliation, according to the lawsuit.
Upon returning from suspension in November, H.J. was allegedly called a “snitch” and was assaulted in the gym, according to the lawsuit. The assault was recorded on cell phone video and shared widely on social media. H.J. was hit in the head area at least 20 times, the lawsuit claims.
H.J. had a broken tooth and became depressed. The student was pulled from Green Sea Floyds High School permanently, according to the lawsuit.
Students made memes of the attack and shared them with other students, causing more injury and suffering to H.J., according to the lawsuit.
The lawsuit accuses the district of gross negligence for failing to maintain a safe environment and enforce policies against bullying. The district is accused of not taking steps to protect H.J. from dangers that were known.
“The attacks on H.J. were reasonably foreseeable and a predictable result of [Horry County Schools’] failure to exercise slight care in performing its duties to provide H.J. with a safe environment to receive a high school education,” the lawsuit reads.
According to a police report of the November incident obtained by News13, two students, H.J., and a juvenile who was charged were walking in the gym having a conversation when one person started hitting the victim in the head and face area until he fell.
After H.J. fell, the person continued to hit him until a teacher could break up the assault, according to the police report.
The mother is asking for a jury trial.
News13 reached out to Horry County Schools for comment. The district said it does not comment on pending litigation.