Parents of Farragut High School student file lawsuit over bullying in school
The parents have asked for $5,000,000 in damages, the filing stated.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Parents of a Farragut High School student, who were arrested last year and accused of encouraging their son to fight others students, filed a lawsuit Thursday, saying that their son was assaulted and not protected by school officials.
Knox County, the Board of Education, the school’s principal, two school resource officers and a deputy with the sheriff’s office were named defendants in the documents.
The parents, Brent and Monica Pelusio, said that their son was assaulted by a group of five athletes on Sept. 14, 2021, court documents stated.
“During the assault, [the minor] was repeatedly hit and punched, including to his head and face,” the report stated.
The following day, the parents said when they arrived to pick their son up from school, they saw him surrounded by approximately ten or more students.
During the incident, the parents claimed in the lawsuit that a school resource officer did not act at the beginning but pepper sprayed their child once he tried to defend himself against the assault.
However, the school resource officer stated in a 2021 police report that she was outside directing traffic when she heard and saw numerous juveniles and Monica Pelusio yelling and causing a disturbance in the parking lot, a police report said.
The officer said she recognized that a fight was about to occur so she ordered them to stop numerous times but they refused, according to the report. Brent Pelusio then allegedly entered the disturbance and was yelling for his son to fight another juvenile, officials said.
Both parents were ordered by the officer to return to their vehicle three times but continued, and encouraged their son to fight, the report stated.
A fight between their child and another juvenile broke out despite refusing numerous orders to stop, the officer said. The parents were accused of refusing to stop their son from fighting and charged with contributing to the delinquency of a child, officials said.
As a result, the child and parents were arrested and charged. No members of the group were charged due to the incident, according to the documents.
The charge against the child was dismissed, the filing stated.
The parents have sued for a “violation of their right to be free from illegal seizure and prosecution.” They have asked for $5 million in damages, along with court costs.
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