A lawsuit was recently filed over claims the I.S. 7 school has done nothing to prevent a Staten Island school girl from being bullied.
New York City and its Department of Education was recently named in a complaint over allegations that it stood by and did nothing while a 12-year-old Elias Bernstein Intermediate School student was bullied. According to the suit, which was filed in Manhattan Supreme Court, the student was also allegedly videotaped in the shower as part of the bullying. Additionally, the suit alleges the student was “repeatedly bullied at school and on social media by the same group of students for several years since she attended PS 55 in Eltingville.”
According to the lawsuit, the alleged bullying reached its tipping point when a photo of the bullied student in the shower while at a sleepover began circulating around social media. The lawsuit alleges that at the time the photograph was taken, the photographer told the bullied student, “Don’t worry, no one will see it.” Unfortunately, the photo was then “shared on social media, including the photographer’s 200 Instagram followers.” Soon after, administrators at I.S. 7 allegedly told the students who took the photo to “delete it from their phones and social media before police could investigate the incident.”
When commenting on the incident, Imran H. Ansari, the attorney representing the bullied student and her family, said:
“The allegations in the complaint make it clear: the DOE dropped the ball. The school failed to properly address a toxic situation and allowed our client to be subjected to bullying that was taken to the extreme, to the point that her privacy was unlawfully violated in a manner that is humiliating, particularly for someone of our client’s young age. It has taken a tremendous toll on the family.”
To this day the student allegedly continues to be bullied. Some of what she endures on a regular basis includes threats of physical violence, threats of gun violence, and name-calling. Additionally, the suit alleges the students doing the bullying encourage other students not to befriend the victim. On top of that, she has also had her book bag thrown in the trash and has been “pinched, slapped, and had her hair pulled by the group,” according to court papers.
Ansari works with Aidala, Bertuna & Kamins P.C., a Manhattan-based law firm. He added that the parents of the bullied student are now seeking unspecified damages and claim the “DOE ignored the alleged repeated bullying.”
When asked about the alleged bullying incident, a DOE spokesman said the “department takes bullying seriously and would review the lawsuit.”