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Parents Claim Their Special Needs Son Was Bullied At School

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Meghan McCorkell joined the Eyewitness News team in July 2011 as a...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Bullied, taunted and choked until he passed out. Parents say their special needs son was tortured by classmates at two Baltimore City schools.

Meghan McCorkell spoke with those parents, who are taking their fight to court.

The Sullivan family has filed a lawsuit after they say their son was mercilessly bullied and the school system did nothing about it.

Baltimore schools are supposed to be bully-free, but Shawna and Eddy Sullivan say for their 10-year-old son Sean, the hallways were a nightmare.

“He’s being pushed to the ground, things are getting taken—his lunch money is getting taken. They’re taking his books, throwing them around,” said Shawna Sullivan.

They say their son, a special needs student, was tormented by classmates at Hazelwood Elementary School.

“Within a couple of weeks, he didn’t want to go to school at all,” Eddy Sullivan said.

The couple says they went to the principal countless times.

“We had phone calls after phone calls after phone calls, including the school police,” Eddy Sullivan said.

But the bullying wasn’t stopped. The last straw was when they say their son was attacked outside the school.

“He was choked until he was passed out, carried into the office and still nothing came of it,” Shawna Sullivan said.

The Sullivans then moved their son to Glenmount but say that was also not a bully-free zone. Again, they went to school officials for help but say the problem was ignored. Now the family has filed a lawsuit against the school board of commissioners and the principals of both Hazelwood and Glenmount Elementary/Middle Schools.

“Children are getting hurt and sooner or later, somebody is going to seriously be hurt,” Shawna Sullivan said.

They hope by taking legal action, it sends a message that the system needs to be fixed.

Baltimore City schools would not comment on this case because it is pending litigation. They did acknowledge the case is going to court Thursday.

According to Baltimore City school board policy, bullying, harassment and intimidation are prohibited in the school environment.

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