The Downtown Miami Charter School is being sued by a mother of a 7-year-old boy who claims her son was repeatedly harassed and sexually assaulted by an older schoolmate. The mother claims that harassment and molestation got so bad the boy attempted to commit suicide, while the school did nothing to intervene.
According to the Associated Press, the younger boy, only identified as "John," told his mother that in November 2011 an 11-year-old boy forced him to perform oral sex in the back of a school bus.
"If you don't do this, I'm gonna hurt you," the older boy said according to police reports.
The mother claims she informed Rebecca Dinda, principal of the Downtown Miami Charter School, about the incident. Dinda assured her that the boy would be separated, closely monitored, and that the incident would not happen again.
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But the suit claims that the harassment continued, and that the boy was molested a second time in a school bathroom.
The boy became so distraught that his mother claims he tried to commit suicide twice: once by standing out in traffic with his eyes closed, and another time by sticking a metal hanger in an electrical socket. He is now undergoing therapy and on psychiatric medications.
"John" has since left the school, and the mother's attorney says that they will be seeking millions in damages. Neither Downtown Miami Charter, nor its parent company, Fort Lauderdale-based Charter Schools USA INC., have not commented on the case.