Father files suit after teen attacked in Central Islip High School
CENTRAL ISLIP - The father of a teenage girl who was attacked and punched in the hallway of Central Islip High School on Long Island has filed a lawsuit against the school, claiming that they did nothing to prevent the attack that left his daughter with a concussion.
Video posted to social media shows a 14-year-old student throwing punches at the victim, identified by the initials "K.H."
"I’m afraid to send my daughter back to school," said Ezra Hoyte, K.H.'s father. He spoke out on behalf of his daughter on Wednesday but only used her initials for fear of retaliation.
Hoyte filed a notice of claim against the school with the help of an attorney, alleging that their daughter was bullied and that nothing was done to prevent it.
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"When a parent turns their child over to a school, the school must take the same actions as a parent to protect the student," attorney Ken Mollins said.
According to the claim, the fight stemmed from a verbal threat in art class where the assistant principal allegedly separated the students.
"A male student directed a female to attack my daughter," Hoyte said. "Her friend was being bullied, she told her friend not to fight because it’s not worth it and the next day they sold at her because she played peacemaker."
This incident is one of at least four recent attacks on Long Island students. On Monday a 13-year-old was stabbed inside Lindenhurst Middle School, two students were slashed at Uniondale High School that same day and on Tuesday, a group of boys reportedly stabbed a teen walking home from school in Riverhead.
Dr. Jeffrey Reynolds, CEO and President of Family and Children’s Association, attributes these attacks in part to anxiety and angst post-COVID, but also to violent videos going viral.
"I’ve never seen it this bad," Reynolds said. "The quickest way to become an influencer is to be involved in a fight."
The school district has not commented on the pending litigation but has said that the safety of students is a priority. Officials say they are taking steps to establish a school free of violence.
As for the victim, her attorney plans to file a lawsuit seeking millions in damages, but more importantly, he hopes to send a message that schools have a responsibility to protect students. The safety of students should be a top priority for schools, and measures should be taken to prevent bullying and violence.