Suit filed against district for bullying

Feb. 22, 2012 at 12:41 PM
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LEANDER, Texas, Feb. 22 (UPI) -- A Texas mother has filed suit against a school district, saying it allowed her son, who has Asperger's syndrome, to be bullied for years.

Now 20, Taylor Patrick still has nightmares and flashbacks about being punched and kicked by fellow students in Leander, the (Austin) American Statesman reported.

Asperger's syndrome is a developmental disorder that affects Taylor's ability to socialize and communicate, leading to his being targeted, his mother Leah Patrick said.

The suit alleges Taylor Patrick was bullied so severely he became suicidal in middle school and was hospitalized. The suit said in some cases Taylor was disciplined, instead of his tormentors, when he responded.

He continues to see a counselor, his mother said, although he graduated in 2011 from Vista Ridge High School, and has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.

"Kids shouldn't be afraid to go to school," Leah Patrick told the newspaper. "Bullying has affected him for years. I hope this (suit) brings change and justice for my son, which he never got."

School district officials said privacy laws bar them from discussing specific student matters but they immediately investigate reports of bullying.

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