Mom files lawsuit against Fulton Schools after son’s suicide attempt

Utopian Academy for the Arts in Riverdale overcame a slew of challenges, including last-minute fixes, prior to its August 14 opening.



Utopian Academy for the Arts in Riverdale overcame a slew of challenges, including last-minute fixes, prior to its August 14 opening.

A mother has filed a lawsuit against Fulton County Schools and four of its employees related to incidents that occurred in 2015 that she says led her son to attempt suicide.

The suit claims that a teacher at Mimosa Elementary School mistreated her son — who was in third grade at the time — to the point where he tried to kill himself in the teacher’s classroom. The suit also alleges that school and district leaders ignored her allegations about the teacher.

Fulton County Schools spokeswoman Susan Hale said the school system is “not able to provide comment” on the pending litigation.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is not naming the mother to protect the identity of the student.

The boy survived the suicide attempt, but the suit claims he said he “wanted to die” because the teacher had been “verbally and physically abusing and bullying him.”

According to the suit, which was filed Tuesday, the boy needed medical treatment for his trauma and was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. The filing does not specify details of the child's suicide attempt, or whether he remained enrolled in the teacher's class.

The eight-page lawsuit details incidents beginning Feb. 2, 2015, when the boy was transferred into the teacher’s classroom at the Roswell school. The student told his mother during this month that he was “upset” because the teacher questioned him daily about “what bad things were going on at home.”

The mother then went to the assistant principal and asked that the teacher be investigated and monitored, the suit says. The administrator “assured” her he would “monitor” the teacher’s conduct.

But, the suit claims that the assistant principal did not investigate or report the mother’s allegations about the teacher.

The boy attempted his suicide in May 2015, and the mother again went to the assistant principal. Then, in a letter dated Aug. 6, 2015 addressed to the principal and the district superintendent, the mother reported the teacher’s conduct, claiming the teacher had verbally and physically abused her son.

She claims that letter and her allegations were ignored.

The mother is seeking damages totaling $550,000 from school administrators, the teacher and the school system for counts of negligence and is requesting a trial by jury. She is represented by Courtney B. Newman and Fred Joseph Rushing Jr., of the Rushing Firm in East Point, who were unavailable for comment Thursday.

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Police said the mother was driving with several teens in her car.