Loudon County Schools face $25 million bullying lawsuit
GREENBACK, Tenn. (WVLT) -- A lawsuit recently filed against Loudon County Schools claims that a teenage girl had been bullied by her classmates for several years.
The $25 million lawsuit alleges that from 2011 to 2014, the juvenile teen was bullied and sexually assaulted constantly by her peers.
The copy of the lawsuit given to Local 8 News had been redacted to omit the teen and her parent's names.
The lawsuit claims that Loudon County Schools, Director Jason Vance, and several staff members at Greenback School knew that the teen was being bullied, but did not do enough to help her. It said the special needs teen began to have suicidal tendencies, had to see a psychologist, and eventually had to be removed from Greenback School because she threatened the life of another student.
Local 8 News spoke with Jason Vance, the Director of Loudon County Schools, to get his response to the lawsuit. Vance said he could not speak specifically about the lawsuit because it is still pending, but said that all of the teachers within the school system receive training to identify and stop bullying when they see it.
"Anytime we're faced with a situation like this, it's important for us to look at our policies and procedures, to look at the over-scoping work that we're doing and try to make sure that we're analyzing it very specifically to make sure that we've not forgotten something. Additionally, it's important for us to sit down with our faculties and staffs, to listen to them, get feedback from them directly about what our shortcomings are, or where we're doing well at," Vance said.
The lawsuit said the parents suffered the expense of their daughter's medical bills, had to alter their lifestyle, and create a home school environment due to the refusal of the defendants to provide a free appropriate public education.
The lawsuit was filed in the 9th Judicial District Circuit Court by Dail Cantrell with Cantrell, Cantrell and Associates law firm.