The price of callous indifference? $800,000

Kids will be kids; it’s middle school.

Court awards bullied student $800,000  March 6, 2010 – Michigan

It started with name-calling in middle school and escalated as Dane Patterson entered high school. Some of the harassment was bullying, such as being shoved into lockers.

Other harassment was decidedly sexual in nature. He was called sexual insults, his locker and notebook were defaced with similar names, and worse. He and his parents say they reported the abuse, and yet it continued. Finally, in 10th grade, he was taunted in a locker room by a naked student rubbing against him.

That was the last straw for the Patterson family. In 2005, they sued Hudson Area Schools under Title IX, the Equal Opportunity in Education Act, using the sexually tinged bullying as the basis for a sexual harassment lawsuit.

This week a jury in U.S. District Court told the school district to pay $800,000 in damages to Patterson, now 19.

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