The parents of a middle school student are suing the Waterford School District after a boy allegedly bullied their son in school for years, culminating with him pushing their son to the ground and breaking his arm.
David and Michele Baldi recently filed a lawsuit against Milagros Dominguez, the Waterford School District and the Waterford Board of Education after Dominquez’s son allegedly pushed their son to the ground at school, resulting in a broken arm. They said Dominquez’s son has bullied their child for years and the Waterford School District did little to stop it.
“The Defendant, the Waterford School District, failed to make any effort to protect (the alleged victim) from the defendant when it knew or should have known that (the defendant) posed an imminent danger to (the alleged victim),” wrote the Baldis' lawyer, Elizabeth Woodhull of Gould & Gillin, in a legal complaint.
Meanwhile Assistant Superintendent Craig Powers disagreed with that assessment. He said he believes Waterford has a robust anti-bullying program and said he felt confident that this case will prove that.
“I assure you that Clark Lane (Middle School) takes bullying very seriously and investigates everything and puts in precautions when needed,” Powers said. “And I feel confident that this case will also prove that out.”
The Baldis are suing for “money damages, costs and expenses, attorney fees and such other and further relief as the court deems just and proper,” according to the complaint. They are seeking more than $15,000, according to the complaint.
On June 15, 2012, the last day of school, the Baldis’ son and Dominquez’s son were waiting for the bus at Clark Lane Middle School. There, Dominquez’s son pushed the Baldis’ son, causing him to break his arm, according to the complaint.
In the complaint, the Baldis allege that their son has been bullied by Dominquez’s son since the fourth grade. They said her son subjected their son to “name calling, pushing and other forms of bullying,” according to the complaint.
The Baldis are suing the Waterford School District and the Waterford Board of Education for allegedly not supervising the two students while they waited for the school bus and for allegedly not protecting their son from Dominquez’s son. They said the school district “failed to take steps to ensure that (their son) could attend school in a safe environment free from harassment and bullying,” according to the complaint.
“The defendant, Waterford School District, failed to supervise (the alleged victim) and the defendant when it knew or should have known that the defendant posed a danger to (the alleged victim),” the complaint read.
Powers said if there is a pattern of bullying between two students, it is addressed. While he wouldn’t comment directly on if there was a long history between the two students, citing privacy constraints, he did say he did not "see eye-to-eye” with everything in the complaint.
Powers said students are supervised when they get onto the school buses at the end of the day. He said it was an unfortunate accident that happened that could happen anywhere, but said the school had adequate supervision.
“Could someone be pushed and could someone fall? That could happen when my sister is watching her own children,” Powers said.
Powers said all Waterford schools take bullying very seriously and are required to report all acts of bullying to the state. He said Clark Lane Middle School in particular has several programs designed to prevent bullying.
Thursday phone calls to the Baldis and Woodhull were not returned.