Massachusetts’ supreme court ruled last week that a school district cannot be held financially liable for bullying that left a child paralyzed.
The state’s highest court said that state law protects districts from being held liable for injuries a bullied student sustains.
The ruling came in the case of Matthew Mumbauer, a 4th grader at Brickett Elementary School in Lynn. Court documents show Matthew was repeatedly targeted by a student in his class, and the student pushed Matthew down a stairwell in 2008 causing permanent paralysis.
Matthew’s family sued the city, school district, and administrators, saying they were negligent in failing to act.
While elementary school workers should have done more to protect Matthew, Justice Kimberly Budd wrote in the decision, they are exempt from liability by law.
A version of this article appeared in the March 07, 2018 edition of Education Week as Massachusetts High Court Rules Schools Not Liable for Bullying