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.
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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.