Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Mother Sues School, Students and Parents for Allowing Bullying

Booker T. Washington School entrance

Booker T. Washington School entrance

Sand Springs, Ok., mother DeAnn Cooks is suing the Tulsa Independent School District No. 1, her daughter’s fellow students A.W. and M.G., who are minors, their parents, “John” and “Jane Doe”, and Twitter, after a November 31, 2012, bullying assault on her daughter, S.C., went unanswered.

The girls’ basketball team had just finished a game and had returned to the locker room to change back into their street clothes when, according to the complaint filed in Tulsa County Court, “M.G., another member of the Booker T. Washington girls basketball team, grabbed S.C. and physically restrained her so defendant A.W. could take pictures of the underwear S.C. was wearing. … S.C. protested and pleaded with these girls to stop, yet they continued to restrain her so as to photograph S.C. in her underwear. … The next day, plaintiff called the coach of the girls’ basketball team to complain about the traumatic incident. The coach informed plaintiff he would ‘handle the issue.’ … However, to plaintiff and S.C.’s dismay, the picture of S.C. in her underwear was almost immediately posted on” The photo was re-tweeted for weeks until most of the school had seen it. … “As a result, numerous members of the Booker T. Washington student body proceeded to bully and taunt S.C. at school. … S.C. was ostracized by her peers, undergoing extensive bullying both during school hours and at home, and was even physically attacked by other students on school property.”

The complaint goes on the state the Cooks complained to the school Principal and the Dean of Students, who said that there was nothing they could do, and lastly to the Tulsa Public Schools administration. Soon after she claims that the Assistant Principal told her that “she needed to drop her complaint because these incidents make the school look bad to the Tulsa Public Schools District administrators.” Cooks is seeking punitive damages for negligence, negligent supervision, intentional infliction of emotional distress, assault, battery and invasion of privacy.

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