A recently-filed lawsuit claims that administrators at a Georgia middle school ignored numerous warnings about a student’s troubling behavior shortly before the child lashed out against a classmate, stabbing the girl over a dozen times and causing “catastrophic” injuries.
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of the victim’s mother, identified by media sources as Henry County resident Ashley Wilson. Wilson claims that Ola Middle School administrators failed to take reasonable measures to prevent the assault, despite knowing that the eighth-grade assailant had brought a knife school.
NBC News notes that the incident occurred earlier this year, in March.
In her lawsuit, Wilson says that the perpetrator took a knife to gym class, whereupon she stabbed the victim at least 14 times.
“The attack resulted in 14 stab wounds and lacerations across Ashley’s daughter’s body—everything from her face to her neck to her back and to her breasts,” Princethal, May & Wilson attorney Adam Princethal told FOX News Digital. “And she is, to this day, still recovery both physically and emotionally.”
Attorneys for the victim say that Ola Middle School officials have received prior notice of the assailant’s misconduct but failed to act, even after being told that the student had taken a knife to school and threatened other children.
Notably, the lawsuit also alleges that—on the day of the attack—teachers saw the attacker bullying her soon-to-be victim, yet failed to intervene or take any other constructive action.
“Teachers who witnessed the harassment did not [defuse] the situation,” the lawsuit says. “The teachers who witnessed the bullying failed to keep [the victim] safe while on school property.”
NBC News notes that, shortly before the stabbing, a school resource officer informed Ola Middle School administrators that the perpetrator had threatened to stab other students with a knife.
The next day, another resource officer reiterated that the student had brought a knife to class and was actively threatening to use it.
Princethal told FOX News that the lawsuit is predicated on “the fact that there written policies in place that govern how the administrators and the other employees of the Henry County school system should act when receiving certain types of information.”
“It’s not a choice,” said attorney Andrew Gould, also representing the Wilson family. “It’s required that administrators conduct an investigation. And it’s required that a student who brings a dangerous weapon onto campus be expelled. These things were not done, so even the most basic initial step—an investigation—would have prevented [the attack] from occurring.”
The victim’s mother said that the attack left her daughter borderline unrecognizable.
“Her blonde hair was no longer blonde. It was red,” Ashley Wilson told WXIA-Atlanta. “The clothes she went to school with that day were not on her. She was bandaged up. You couldn’t see really any part of her face at all. She was just covered in blood everywhere.”
Wilson is seeking compensation for her daughter’s medical expenses as well as emotional pain and suffering. Court documents indicate that damages may meet or exceed $3 million.
The school system has denied any and all liability.