The mother of a Polk County 8th grader who took her own life has filed suit against the county's board of education, alleging that school officials were negligent in preventing what some have called "relentless bullying" that led Jazmine Harris to commit suicide two weeks ago.
Her suicide was the second by an allegedly bullied student at the Copper Basin Middle High School within the past three months.
The lawsuit filed by the her mother, Angel Harris, claims the Polk County Board of Education "breached its duty of care owed to [Jazmine.]"
"Nothing, especially money will help us heal," Angel Harris said Thursday. "But, this lawsuit helps me know that [Jazmine's] story can raise awareness and help people by bringing change."
The lawsuit provides pages of detail about the bullying Jazmine allegedly endured, and cites several separate occasions when it claims Angel Harris complained about the harassment to school officials, who did not take adequate action to address the problem and protect her daughter.
Superintendent of Polk County Schools Dr. James Jones and Copper Basin High School Principal David Turner did not respond this afternoon to requests for comment.
Angel Harris' attorney, Roland Mumford, from Hendersonville, Tenn., has several lawsuits pending in court involving school systems' alleged negligence in cases of bullying, teacher assaults on students and discrimination of students with disabilities.
"It comes down to the deliberate indifference by school districts and leadership toward bullying," Mumford said.
See tomorrow's Chattanooga Times Free Press for the full story.