Family Says School Ignored Bullying Incident
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MEDINAH (CBS) — A fourth-grade suburban student says she suffered serious injuries at the hands of a female bully. But school officials say her injuries did not happen at school.
So, what happened to Alyssa Lovergine? 2 Investigator Dave Savini reports.
Alyssa claims she was attacked on the school playground, during recess, at Medinah Intermediate.
Her attacker “punched me and then she took my hair, and then she started hitting me,” she says. “I got my head beat into the cement.”
It was last year, when fourth-grader Alyssa says she tried to defend classmate Vincent Wagener from a larger female student who was bullying him. Vincent says the bully turned and attacked Alyssa.
Vincent, Alyssa and her mother, Paula, say the school failed to properly supervise students at recess or stop the attack before Alyssa’s head was repeatedly slammed into the ground. The children also claim calls for help went unanswered, even though there were adults on the playground.
“I still have my memory loss,” Alyssa said of her ongoing medical problems. She says she suffers from headaches and her grades have been impacted.
CBS 2 obtained the official records about the alleged attack and found the school’s reports tell a different story. The incident is described as simply pushing and hair-pulling and that Alyssa had a minor scratch on her face.
Paula Lovergine says that is not true; her daughter was seriously injured.
“How can they deny that this happened?” she asked.
She says the school failed to get her daughter proper medical care. Then school officials fired back, suggesting Alyssa’s injuries may have happened at home. They contacted the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), but not until nearly two weeks later.
Paula Lovergine says no one from DCFS contacted her and she insists the injuries happened at school.
Shortly after the incident, she filed a police report. That record indicates the alleged bully acknowledged hitting Alyssa’s head on the ground and being remorseful about it. She was disciplined at school.
Not satisfied with how this incident was handled, Paula Lovergine hired attorney Fred Benjamin and filed a lawsuit against the school. He said the lawsuit may prompt schools to be more responsive to bullying incidents.
“I even had to sleep with my mom for awhile because I would have such bad dreams about what happened,” Alyssa said.
In a statement, school officials say they conducted a comprehensive investigation, disciplined the alleged bully and that law enforcement took no further action.