A Texas dad is suing a group of middle school students who allegedly cyberbullied his son last month. According to Derek Rothschild, the bullies named his son the “most likely to shoot up the school” in an online discussion.
“This caused the entire student body to ostracize [Rothschild’s son], and subjected him to searches and interrogation by school staff, and ridicule by other students,” explained Rothschild’s attorney, Justin Nichols, to KSAT. He added that, “The rumors were mean spirited, wholly false, and intended to hurt [the boy].”
Rothschild, whose son attended Tex Hill Middle School (he’s since been removed), is now seeking $50,000 damages and attorney fees from the bullies and their parents.
“[School administrators] had sent an email saying they knew this wasn’t a credible threat, that it was just a bunch of rumors, but they searched [my son] and searched the whole school and brought the extra security anyway,” Rothschild told KSAT. “I expressed that morning that this was really bullying, and I felt like the only person in danger at school that day was my son.”
The Northeast Independent School District addressed the incident in a statement released Monday, saying that administrators “acted appropriately to investigate the situation, and took appropriate actions to address it. The District made it clear at the beginning of the school year that all threats against schools would be subject to disciplinary action.
Rothschild’s lawsuit will be the first filed under David’s Law in Texas. The law, named after David Molak, a teen who committed suicide after being cyberbullied in 2016, gives parents and kids more power to prevent and fight cyberbullying.
“Victims will be able to have the court issue an injunction against not only the cyberbully but also against the cyberbully’s parents, requiring those parents to take action to stop their child from cyberbullying,” explains the law’s website.