Family to sue Sumner Co. schools over bullying - WSMV Channel 4

Family to sue Sumner Co. schools over bullying

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Bryson Woods Bryson Woods
GALLATIN, TN (WSMV) -

A Sumner County family said it plans to file suit against their school system, saying school leaders failed to take action against the bullies who attacked their son.

Bryson Woods, who is now 13, was 12 when he was grabbed in the locker room of Rucker-Stewart Middle School in October during the first incident, his parents said.

"He got me by the neck and slammed me up against the lockers, and he held me down in a choke-hold, and he asked someone for a black leather belt," Bryson Woods said.

"If it wouldn't have been for the bell ringing, they wouldn't have stopped," he said.

His family photographed the welts and called the police. They said the 12-year-old attacker was sentenced to probation by the courts, but he was never punished by the school. The Sumner County school system, the family said, merely allowed the boy to transfer to Metro schools.

"We're supposed to protect him. We can't send him to public schools and he's not protected. Then what do we do?" said Bryson's mother, Kim Woods.

Bryson moved to a different school, where the family said he was bullied again, this time by the cousin of the boy from the first incident.

"I was running as hard as I could, he caught up to me, pushed me in the back of the neck as hard as he could," Bryson said he fell face-forward. "My nose started bleeding, blood came out of my mouth," Bryson Woods said.

The family said they met with the school principal, who did not take action against the bully, but counseled Bryson instead.

"The principal said, 'You have to get used to bullying. Cause it's even in the workforce. You're going to have to get used to it,'" Kim Woods said.

Sumner County's official policy is zero tolerance for bullying.

The Wood's attorney, Roland Mumford, said he plans to sue the school system.

"It's a zero policy alright. They do nothing. And as to the tolerance part of the policy, they're right. They tolerate it," Mumford said.

Sumner County's school administration issued a statement saying they take reports of bullying very seriously. The statement said they say they will continue to work with the Woods family until a resolution can be reached.

The Woods say the school system's only proposal so far is to transfer Bryson to a special education class.

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