H.L. v. Monongalia County Schools
This is a civil rights and negligence case against a West Virginia school district and sheriff’s department on behalf of a biracial high school student assaulted with a blade after the school district ignored repeated reports of racial cyberbullying and threats by her attacker, a white female student with a history of violence. Our client, H.L., was so traumatized by the bullying and the victim-blaming response to her complaints by school administrators and the school resource officer that she ultimately dropped out of the school and required inpatient psychiatric treatment.
This is the first racial bullying case filed against a school under West Virginia’s Human Rights Act. The case also seeks to set precedent on schools’ obligations to address cyberbullying.
Public Justice and Meyer, Ford & Glasser filed this lawsuit in the Circuit Court of Monongalia County, West Virginia, on February 16, 2017. The Monogalia Sheriff’s Department filed a motion to dismiss H.L.’s claims, but the court denied that motion. The parties are currently engaged in discovery.