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California jury awards $1M to teen bullied in middle school

A California jury has awarded $1 million in damages to a teen who was bullied in middle school after her Los Angeles school district failed to protect her.  On Wednesday, a Los Angeles County Superior Court jury ruled that El Segundo Unified School District’s negligence harmed Eleri Irons, who was 13 when the bullying began in November 2017. Irons, who is now 18, was awarded $700,000 in damages for past pain and suffering, and $300,000 for any future emotional trauma she may suffer.

The original lawsuit, filed in 2019, accused the district of failing to protect Irons while she attended El Segundo Middle School where she was “bullied, tormented and verbally assaulted” by three students, including one who started a petition called “Let’s Kill Eleri Irons.”  The suit said that the bullying “included verbal harassment, spreading nasty rumors and text messaging mean comments” directly to her.  The complaint also accused teachers of failing to notify Irons’ parents after they discovered the petition.

The El Segundo Unified School District issued a statement saying it respects the court ruling and vowed to make the well-being of its students a top priority.  The district said: “As we move forward, we are committed to self-improvement and doing everything we can to prevent bullying in our schools.”

Editorial credit: Structured Vision / Shutterstock.com

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