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Student Sues School Board After Alleged Hazing Incident

On a fall day last year, a Dr. Phillips High School student was allegedly stuffed into a trash can by football players after being instructed by his coach to retrieve his practice pants from the varsity locker room.

Now the student has sued the Orange County School Board, claiming he was injured as a result of the hazing incident. He claims he suffered an invasion of privacy and was subjected to defamation as a result of the incident on the premises.

The Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights reportedly reviewed the case last summer. According to the Orlando Sentinel, the new lawsuit claims the victim suffered his injuries partly due to improper supervision. The boy and his father are seeking $15,000 based on the charges.

According to the lawsuit, the defamation and emotional distress were caused by the School Board during and after the period in which the General Counsel accused the victim of withholding facts and being less than honest. The case was also apparently compared to the infamous scandal involving lacrosse players from Duke University.

Three of six students have been acquitted of misdemeanor charges related to the alleged hazing incident, and one suspect was suspended for 10 days. The judge who acquitted three of the boys says that a battery certainly took place, but as to who was involved, the court had enough reasonable doubt to acquit three of the six suspects.

One thing is certain: bullying, and incidents such as these, should not be tolerated.

Source: Orlando Sentinel, “Student sues Orange schools over Dr. Phillips hazing incident,” Lauren Roth, Oct. 19, 2011

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