ORLAND PARK, Ill. (CBS) — The family of a former girls’ basketball player at a southwest suburban high school claims their daughter was physically and psychologically injured by her teammates in an alleged case of bullying.
They’ve filed a half million dollar lawsuit, CBS2’S Mike Parker reports.
During her time at Carl Sandburg High School in Orland Park, Kathleen Mulvey was a star guard on the girls’ basketball team. But her smile in photos from that period may be deceiving. Her family says she was constantly being bullied by a few of her teammates.
She was upset enough to transfer to an East Coast school at the end of last year. She also was diagnosed by a counselor as having Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Her mother, Ellen Mulvey, says the girl had “all the symptoms.”
“She couldn’t sleep at night. Kathleen would lay awake, sit up in our living room all night long. She had a lot of sadness,” Mulvey says.
A college recruiting video shows that Kathleen Mulvey was a gifted, energetic player. In 2009, her family says, one of the team bullies pushed her as she was in the air for a layup. She came crashing down and tore a tendon in her foot.
“The girl never offered her assistance,” says Kathleen’s mother. “The coach knew it was going on. He saw it on a daily basis, he heard it.”
Then came surgery, Kathleen’s deep depression and her transfer to an East Coast high school.
Now the family’s filed a $500,000 lawsuit against the coach, Chris Hellrung, and the school district.
“The bottom line is the evil of inaction. The adults knew about it and they just wouldn’t step in and stop it,” the student’s uncle, Kevin Hogan, says.
“We have to pursue it so it doesn’t happen to anybody else again,” Ellen Mulvey says.
A spokeswoman for School District 230 said she could not comment on the suit because they haven’t seen it yet. And there was no comment from the coach.
The Mulvey family says Kathleen’s older sister, Megan, who is now in college, was bullied at Sandburg, too. After graduating, she lost interest in basketball, and hasn’t played since.