Mother Sues Tennessee School for Negligence, False Arrest

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – The mother of a 16-year-old boy, who was beaten by classmates in November 2007, is suing Shelby County Schools and the sheriff’s office for negligence, false arrest and false imprisonment.

Tatia Thompson filed the lawsuit on behalf of her son, Justin Thompson on Oct. 15. According to the complaint, Justin, then a student at Southwind High School, was walking home from school when a group of male students attacked him. When Justin’s mother alerted the principal and school security about the incident, she was allegedly told that because the incident occurred off school grounds, school administration could not protect the boy.

Additionally, Tatia was told that she needed to pick her son up from school for his safety.

As a result, Justin transferred to Arlington High School. In February 2008, a video was posted on YouTube and local news stations showing the student’s beating. Shortly after the airing, Justin was arrested while sitting in class. He was also suspended from school.

Eventually, the student was allowed to return to school after the school board determined that he had been arrested for an offense where he was the victim.

The plaintiff seeks $750,000 in compensatory damages and $750,000 in punitive damages.

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