By Mike Hellgren

BALTIMORE (WJZ)– A Baltimore family is taking their fight to court. They say their special needs child was bullied at two city schools. Now, their lawsuit goes before a jury.

Mike Hellgren is following the case against the city school system.

Parents of the boy say this has been a nightmare for them and their son. They say they’ve exhausted all their options and filed this lawsuit to show the city schools that this is a problem that has to stop.

Shawna and Eddy Sullivan headed to court in a landmark case against Baltimore City Schools. They claim teachers and administrators did nothing to stop their 10-year-old son, Sean, from being bullied– beaten, yelled at and even choked at incidents in Hazelwood and Glenmount Elementary schools.

“Unfortunately, it is something that has to happen,” Eddy Sullivan said. “The public needs to know what’s going on.”

Their lawyer pushed for and got a jury trial. Most bullying cases never make it that far. And she says, the ordeal left the little boy who has special needs emotionally damaged.

“I will use the word ‘terrorized,'” Donna King, the Sullivan family’s lawyer, said. “This child was terrorized by some of these boys.”

The school system plans to vigorously defend itself against the lawsuit.

“I can’t have no comment,” said Quinton Herbert, lawyer for the Baltimore City Schools. “You could contact our communications department. They will be able to give you some information.”

But WJZ got no comment there either.

The Sullivans say they’re doing this to protect other children.

“You can’t just keep denying that it’s happening and expect that problem to go away,” Shawna Sullivan said. “Children are actually being hurt. And sooner or later, somebody is seriously going to be hurt.”

Two veteran principals were named in this civil lawsuit. They have been front and center throughout the proceedings that were moving very fast with the jury selected Thursday and opening arguments held the same day as well.

The trial is expected to last all through next week.

Comments (6)
  1. baltimore resident says:

    sad to say but this is probably the only way the school systems will figure out they need to be responsible for a change

  2. Anthony Bubba Green says:

    It is about time that we make this city/school take responsibility for its lack of actions. Baltimore City is insulated when comes to lawsuits. One would think if they are not allowed to escape with a cap on the amount they can be sued one would start to make sure the I’s are dotted and the t’s are crossed; until then it is business as usual. Keep fight until justice is served. To the parents that have children who are bullies give them permission to start punching themselves in the face when they want to act out, then have them look into the mirror to see how ugly it can get.

  3. Liberal Soldier says:

    I would opt for burning down the bullies parents home and hopefully they will get the message to control their bully.

  4. Ernie says:

    “I can’t have no comment,” said Quinton Herbert, lawyer for the Baltimore City Schools.<<<<—Must have went to Baltimore City Schools. You would think the lawyer representing Baltimore City Schools could at least speak English.
    Should be fun in court. Naw am sayin'?

  5. Erica Pennington says:

    I pulled my children out of City schools 2 yrs ago because my son was bullied and choked in the school bathroom twice and nothing was done about it either time, matter of fact they BLAMED my son by saying he should not have been in the bathroom by himself because of their buddy system rule. The TEACHER is the one that let him go to the bathroom by himself in the first place. First bully incident was in 1st grade, second was the 2nd week of 2nd grade, I had enough. I couldnt sit at home for 6+ hours a day wondering if he was going to come home safe. I am now homeschooling and the children are doing great.

  6. fauntleroy says:

    Justice needs to be served my daughter is in 2nd grade & she was told that her parents dont love her and for her 2 kill herself. That day she was told that she was isolated in a classroom where the vice principal & the IEP chair set & watch her try 2 take her life. I have made complaints, & Im getting stone walled. She`s now at a level 5 school & says that one of the teacher`s grabbed & pushed her and her 1 on 1 is allowing her 2 be hit by other boys in the class. And she also states that the 1 on 1 is pinching her and she left a bruise I went to the program leader and still more lies and excuses. What rights do parents have 2 safegaurd their children who suffers from emotional trauma.

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