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Mom Files Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against Virginia School After Son’s Suicide

Posted on Feb 27, 2011

A Virginia mother has filed a $10 million wrongful death lawsuit against the York County school system following the death of her son by suicide in the spring of 2010. According to the Williamsburg Yorktown Daily, the 16-year-old boy hanged himself in May after being bullied at school for months.

Alise Williams, the mother of Christian Taylor, has said that although school officials at Grafton High School in Yorktown, Virginia, knew that her son was being relentlessly bullied by other students for at least six months, they did nothing to stop the bullying. She believes that if they had responded appropriately to the situation, her son would still be alive today. She also says that both she and her son reported the issue, which mostly involved one other boy in particular, to the school administration, but nothing was done.

The family had moved to Virginia five months before, and the bullying had escalated throughout Christian’s stay at the school. One document shows that the bully even told the boy to commit suicide and “get it over with.” While the Sheriff has investigated and believes that no crime was committed, Chistian’s mom believes something needs to be done.

The wrongful death case is currently in trial in York County. A judge has recently decided to allow some confidential documents from the school system to be included as evidence, including records from the Department of Social Services, the school’s guidance counselor records, and the school’s disciplinary records. The defense is arguing that the school administrators have sovereign immunity and cannot be sued for wrongful death.