Plymouth-Canton student claims district ignored cries for help to end harassment

Family says student now home-schooled

By Jamie Edmonds - Sports anchor/reporter, Derick Hutchinson

CANTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. - A high school student at Plymouth-Canton Schools said she was bullied so badly, she almost took her own life, and now, her family is claiming the district ignored her cries for help to escape harassment.

According to a federal lawsuit, in the fall of 2016, a Canton High School freshman was being harassed by a Salem High School student she once dated.

Jennifer Salvatore is the attorney for the victim's family. She said the harassment lasted for 16 months, and in that time, the student reported what was happening to school officials.

Salvatore filed a lawsuit Thursday in federal court saying the district's deliberate indifference to extreme, ongoing and sex-based bullying by a male student led the victim to attempt suicide after she tried repeatedly to get help and protection from school officials.

"The district does not tolerate harassment of any kind," officials with the school district said in a statement. "All allegations of harassment are taken seriously, are investigated thoroughly and responded to with appropriate action. We are unable to comment on any specific student matter."

Salvatore said the point of the lawsuit is to make sure this doesn't happen to another student.

"All schools have a responsibility, when they are aware of this kind of conduct, to address it effectively," Salvatore said.

The lawsuit was filed Thursday in federal court. The district has 28 days to respond. Then, the court will set the schedule.

The student is now in her junior year and is currently being home-schooled because of post-traumatic stress disorder, members of her family said.

As far as Salvatore knows, the male student is no longer in the district.

Salvatore said the district has Title 9 policies on the books, but she believes it didn't follow those policies.

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