Parents of Texas Teen Who Hanged Himself Sue District

DALLAS — The parents of a student who committed suicide last year filed a federal lawsuit against the Joshua school district and several school officials on Monday. The lawsuit claims the district and its officials violated the rights of Jon Carmichael, 13, by ignoring repeated acts of bullying against him and his subsequent requests for help.

Carmichael, who was a student at Loflin Middle School, hanged himself in a barn near his family home in Cleburne, Texas, reports the Star-Telegram. According to the lawsuit, Carmichael was stripped, tied up and placed in a trashcan prior to his death. The incident was filmed and posted on YouTube; it was later removed at the request of an unknown staff member who failed to report the incident, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit claims school employees also failed to intervene when Carmichael was thrown into a dumpster. Several students witnessed an attack on him in which his head was forced into a toilet, which was then flushed several times. Those students also failed to report the incident.

Martin Cirkiel, the family’s attorney, claims that school officials knowingly ignored or covered up bullying incidents they did not witness firsthand. The lawsuit accuses school staff of instructing a student who had a video of an assault on Carmichael to destroy it; staff also allegedly hid or destroyed Carmichael’s personal journal.

Last week, relatives of Carmichael and other families went to Austin to support three anti-bullying bills filed in the Legislature.

Read the full story.

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