Bullying allegation brings $1.2 million claim against Enumclaw School District

Allegations of bullying at Thunder Mountain Middle School have resulted in a claim filed against the Enumclaw School District.

Attorney Yvonne Kinoshita Ward, on behalf of the alleged victim and his family, served the district Wednesday morning. The claim seeks damages in the sum of $1.2 million.

If the issue were to result in a court action, it could be filed in 61 days.

The claim alleges a Thunder Mountain student – born in 1999 and identified only as Andrew – was repeatedly bullied by other students. The claim notes that the bullying was both verbal and physical and was an ongoing issue.

The claim alleges the district was fully aware of the problem, yet failed to take adequate steps to alleviate the problem. It was noted school administrators advised the youth to walk a different route to classes or even transfer to an alternative school.

The district issued the following statement Wednesday: “The District investigates all reported bullying and takes appropriate corrective measures if a complaint is substantiated. The parents could have elevated their concerns to the superintendent and then the school board if they were not satisfied with the school’s handling of their concerns. They did not do so.”

A full story will appear in the next print edition of The Courier-Herald.

The following is a statement released by the district, as reported by several media outlets Wednesday night:

“Due to Student privacy laws, the District cannot comment on the allegations about what happened two years ago. We can state, however, that school administrators met with the parents and the student as recently as this August and there have been no concerns raised by them this year or last year about harassment or bullying.

“The District takes allegations regarding student harassment or bullying very seriously. We are committed to promoting a safe learning environment for all students and actively work to instill positive character traits and values in our students. Any student who believes he or she has been the target of bullying is encouraged to report such incidents to any District staff member. The District investigates all reported bullying and takes appropriate corrective measures if a complaint is substantiated. The parents could have elevated their concerns to the superintendent and then the school board if they were not satisfied with the school’s handling of their concerns. They did not do so.”