Suit: Coach Videotaped Physical Hazing Of Freshman Football Player
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CHICAGO (CBS) — A Chicago father is seeking damages from the city’s school district for the psychological damage he says his son experienced at the hands of bullies.
In a suit filed the Cook County, Jose Calderone, the father of a former freshman football player at Prosser Career Academy, said his son was beaten with belts and taunted in the locker room by other football players a year ago.
“This was actually videotaped by one of the the other coaches,” said attorney Joseph Klest.
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Klest says two football coaches and four senior football players are responsible for the bullying.
The coach who allegedly videotaped the incident showed it to other people, according to the suit.
Klest said it all led to depression and emotional anxiety for the child, who was once an honor student but is now struggling in school.
After the bullying, the child switched schools.
“It changed his life,” Klest said.
The incident named in the complaint happened on October 18, 2011.
Klest says the boy, Nathaniel Calderone, missed a day of rainy football practice because of his asthma.
He went to the locker room to change, and found four of the defendants named in the suit, all senior football players, waiting with belts.
Klest says Nathaniel had been beaten with belts before as a part of hazing, so he tried to get away, but was blocked by one of the team’s coaches, also a defendant in the complaint. The boy eventually got away, but the players caught up with him, beat and taunted him in the locker room, as another coach, also a defendant, videotaped the incident.
A Chicago Public Schools spokesperson said the district does not comment on pending litigation, but said bullying and hazing are not tolerated.
The family is seeking damages of more than $50,000 for counseling to help get the child back on track.