The victim's family sued the Hunterdon Central Board of Education and the Flemington-Raritan Board of Education in Hunterdon County Superior Court.
The Hunterdon school board's attorney filed a countersuit, citing various statutes he says protect the school from such allegations -- and filed third-party claims against six of the alleged bullies. Though the district denies wrongdoing, if the victim's family should prevail, the district says any damages should be split evenly between the districts and the bullies' families themselves, the Hunterdon County Democrat said Tuesday.
The victim's lawsuit contends the child was targeted by bullies beginning in the fourth grade in the Flemington-Raritan district. The child was taunted for his physique, his haircut and his perceived sexual orientation. Other children would routinely pull down his pants and throw dodge balls at him until he was doubled over in pain, the lawsuit alleges. Such behavior continued into high school in Hunterdon, the lawsuit states.
Furthermore, the boy's parents tried working with school officials to stop their son's tormentors. School officials threw up their hands and said it was the other children's parents' responsibility to control the bullies' behavior, the victim's family said.
The bullied boy was forced to spend long stretches in a hospital when his parents said they feared he would harm himself due to his treatment at school.
The Flemington-Raritan district has yet to respond to the lawsuit, the newspaper said.