Parents Claim School Failed To Stop Bullying, Attack On Son

MERRILLVILLE, Ind. (CBS) — The family of a 17-year-old boy has filed a lawsuit against a northwest Indiana high school, alleging their son was taunted, bullied and brutally attacked, all because he is of Middle Eastern descent.

David Osama Haddad, 17, was attacked by a group of students at Lake Central High School in St. John last week.

As CBS 2′ Mai Martinez reports, his parents and attorney said he had been the frequent victim of taunts and bullying for about a year.

His parents said they reported the bullying to school officials several times, but they claim nothing was done about it.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger reports

They said they believe their son was being targeted solely because he is of Middle Eastern descent.

David’ mother said was beaten so badly at school last Tuesday that his father had to take him to the hospital.

According to the family’s attorney, David suffered a “traumatic brain injury” because of the attack, which allegedly took place in a hallway at Lake Central High School.

Hind Haddad said her son was beaten by another student while other students formed a line to keep anyone from intervening.

“It’s a parent’s nightmare when, you know, you think your son is in school, he’s in a safe place – he’s not outside, he’s not on the street,” she said.

The Haddads said it was the first time their son had been physically attacked, but they claimed he was repeatedly called names over the past year, including “terrorist,” “Little Osama” and “Little bin Laden.”

After Libyan dictator Muammar Ghaddafi was killed, some students allegedly bought David a gift, saying something to the effect of, “here’s a gift, because we killed your uncle.”

Haddad’s parents were suing the school, Lake Central School Corporation, and several school administrators and students over the attack. They said they don’t want any other student or family to experience the pain they are facing.

Neither the school nor the school district would comment on the lawsuit.

  • Christy Zachman

    Good for the family. It is a shame that the school couldn’t have used the deaths of the osama and such as teaching lessons of racism and tolerance. The racist acts against this young man is horrible and the school should have stopped it with lessons of tolerance and racism.

  • Tommy

    This is what you MUST do. Believe it. I was beaten and teased all the way through high school and the parents, police, schools, teachers and bus drivers did nothing to stop the beatings and I was beaten every week. Get the charges pressed, then sue. Good luck. I hope that you get a million for your troubles.

  • John

    I’m extremely embarrassed to say that I went to Lake Central. I cannot believe that something like this would happen, as I have never encountered this level of hate in my time there. What a shame….especially to think other students watched this happen and even went as far as to encourage it.

  • tom Sharp

    Obviously the school is run by morons and the administrators fired,and the district and the “perp” sued.

  • Duh

    Why doesn’t the family sue Al Queda and other middle eastern terrorist groups for giving people an excuse to bully and beat this guy? Cause and effect, people.

    • Jake

      Wow, you get the award for the most ignorant comment ever.

  • tom Sharp

    Duh is representative of your IQ. “Cause and Effect” in this case is for morons only! There is no excuse for this treatment in civilized society. it’s the act of racist idiots.

  • tj

    Why weren’t the police brought in on this? He was assulted therefor arrest the attackers, then sue their parents for raising them the way they are.

    • pak31

      I question that too. You never hear it in a story but I would love to see interviews with the parents of the attackers. I wonder what their home lives are like to be so heartless and uncaring toward other human beings. This goes above and beyond typical bullying, I agree police should be involved. Arrests made. Also, if this were my child, and I am not tough by any means, but I would be at that school as often as I had to until something was done about my child being bullied.

  • The Truth

    As someone who GOES to the school, let me tell you all that this report isn’t all factual. The guy was not a target because of his race, but but because he went around acting like a jerk. What happened was awful but his actions caused him to “have it coming”

    • tom Sharp

      Seven on one! Come on “Truth” The real truth is that is nothing but gang banger tactics of cowards who can’t do anything on their own. What physical violence did this guy do? No one has that coming! You shun nerds and obnoxious people, not half kill the guy.

      • The Truth

        It wasn’t 7 on 1 tom. The news made it out to be a much worse thing than it was. I agree the brutalizing was a lot though

  • Shadden

    it wasnt 7 on 1 and u dont know the other side of the story the parents hyped this so much it was a highschool fight and all a sudden they pull the race card out bc there son got his A** kicked also they try to say that they told the principal why would the principal lie and put his job on the line

    • Jake

      Your blind faith in authority is disturbing and shortsighted.

    • Doug

      Thanks for commenting, Shadden.

    • skinflower

      You should be “shaddened” by your poor command of the English language. When you learn to write like you mean it, maybe your comments will hold more weight.

  • JB

    Who knows the attitude of this student. He may have provoked. Maybe he has anti-American views.

    • Jake

      Maybe you kidnapped a girl and had her tied up in his basement. Maybe you worshipped the devil. Maybe your a drug addict who beats his wife.

      You see where this is going? Take your rank speculation elsewhere.

    • Patricia Stidham-Burns

      Get your head out of the sand and place the blame squarely on the RACIST that they are. They want power and hate to spread as far as it can These children LEARN this behavior from some where! STOP BLAMING THE VICTIM!!!!

  • Eid Batarseh

    The messed up part is that they are a Christian family. Terrorist shouldn’t even apply to the kid. Here’s another fun fact the media can include his own first cousin is In the US Army fighting for these kids that committed this crime. But I guess these kids were that arrogant. Shame on their parents.

    • Patricia Stidham-Burns

      People worry about dark skinned people. Conservatives fear them. Well Christians scare me especially conservative Christians!

    • tom Sharp

      You’re wasting your time. These nitwits never let the facts get in the way of moronic bigotry.

  • anon

    Go back to pakistan.

    • tom Sharp

      Wrong, country, wrong religion, wrong politics–all proving my above statement!

  • Jeries Jreisat

    All of you are arrogant open you eyes you can just look at the picture and see that it was a bs “fight” lets see you take on 7 guys at once stop with the racist comments im probly like 2 years younger than you guys but i understand politics and issues more than you its a joke you all should be disgusted by yourselves.

  • Charges May Be Coming In Brutal Attack On Jordanian-American Student « CBS Chicago

    […] As WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger reports, David Osama Haddad, 17, was attacked by a group of students at Lake Central High School in St. John … […]

  • The Truth

    I would even venture to question this artcles credibility. The school is located in St.John, not Merriville. How this has gone unnoticed is beyond me

  • Jake
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