Tuesday, March 08, 2022

Christian Student Sues His High School For Bullying and Harassment

 Suit was filed last week in a Florida federal district court by a Christian high school student against his public charter school alleging bullying and harassment by students, reinforced by the school, because he regularly brought a Bible to school and read it during his free time.  The complaint (full text) in Ortiz v. Mater Academy, Inc., (SD FL, filed 2/28/2022) summarizes the allegations as follows:

Nicholas Ortiz, a 14-year-old freshman, was discriminated and retaliated against by his high school, Mater Academy, because he is a Christian. Nicholas repeatedly made the school aware of a pattern of pervasive bullying by his fellow students, bullying that was reinforced by the words and actions of the school. Yet the school did not just sweep Nicholas's bullying claims under the rug-- failing to report them as required under the law-- they retaliated against Nicholas for reporting the harassment.... The school validated the despicable false rumors about Nicholas being broadcast on social media, [and] denied Nicholas due process....

The 57-page complaint sets out in detail the instances of bullying and harassment, including fellow-students ripping pages from his Bible. Numerous social media postings are reproduced in the complaint. The complaint alleges 1st and 14th Amendment violations as well as various state law claims. Christian Headlines reports on the lawsuit.