The parents of a 15-year-old Connecticut boy who killed himself in 2013 filed a wrongful death suit Wednesday against the schools and town government in the wealthy community of Greenwich, saying local officials failed to adequately address the years of bullying their son suffered.
In the lawsuit, Anna and Franciszek Palosz said their son, Bartlomiej "Bart" Palosz, fatally shot himself in the head at his home after the first day of his sophomore year at Greenwich High School on Aug. 27, 2013.
The lawsuit alleges Bart was subjected to constant bullying in his years at Western Middle School and his freshman year at Greenwich High School. It also alleges school staff failed to investigate the bullying against him and failed to discipline the bullies, in violation of school district policies put in place in response to a 2011 state anti-bullying law.
Greenwich school officials referred questions about the lawsuit to the town attorney, John Wayne Fox, who did not immediately return messages from The Associated Press.
The bullying included name-calling and teasing, repeated incidents of property theft and several incidents of physical violence, according to the lawsuit, which was first reported by the Greenwich Time.
In documents informing Greenwich High School administrators, teachers and staff about incoming students, middle school counselors said Bart was bullied regularly and needed social work, according to the lawsuit. The documents said Bart was very socially awkward, would stare at other students, wanted to be liked and even though he was bullied he wouldn't tell on the perpetrators.
"We feel this lawsuit is important so that other students in Greenwich don't suffer the same kind of treatment that Bart did," the Palosz family said in a statement released by their attorney, David Golub. "It is our hope that this lawsuit will result in changes to how the Greenwich school system responds to students in need of help so that there will be no more needless deaths."
The lawsuit does not mention how much money in damages is being sought. Town officials must file a response to the lawsuit by Sept. 8.