You choose, we deliver
If you are interested in this story, you might be interested in others from The Journal Gazette. Go to www.journalgazette.net/newsletter and pick the subjects you care most about. We'll deliver your customized daily news report at 3 a.m. Fort Wayne time, right to your email.

U.S.

  • Sheriff: Baby left in van outside doctor's office
    ORLANDO, Fla. – A doctor and nurses went to the aid of a 2-month-old baby girl after a Florida mom left the infant in a hot minivan outside a pediatrician's office for about an hour, authorities ...
  • UCLA wades through damages from pipe flooding
    LOS ANGELES – The quiet summer campus of UCLA suddenly was steeped in water and chaos after a major water pipe burst and spewed about 8 million gallons, stranding people in parking garages and flooding the school’s storied basketball
  • US economy grew at strong 4 percent rate in spring
    WASHINGTON – After a dismal winter, the U.S. economy sprang back to life in the April-June quarter, growing at a fast 4 percent annual rate on the strength of higher consumer and business spending.
Advertisement
Associated Press
A New Jersey school district has agreed to pay $4.2 million to Sawyer Rosenstein, shown in 2006.

Victim of bullying to get $4.2 million

– A New Jersey school district has agreed to pay $4.2 million to settle a lawsuit by a middle school student who was paralyzed when a known bully punched him in the abdomen.

The settlement between the Ramsey school district and the family of Sawyer Rosenstein, who had complained to the district about being bullied, was worked out over the past two months.

The family’s lawsuit alleged school officials knew or should have known the boy’s attacker had violent tendencies and failed to comply with a state anti-bullying law, said the Rosensteins’ attorney, Jeffrey Youngman.

The boy had punched another student in the face on a school bus a year earlier, but the school kept no record of it or other attacks, the suit said.

Three months before being punched, Rosenstein, then 12, emailed school officials to report he was being bullied and to ask for help.

“I would like to let you know that the bullying has increased,” he wrote to his guidance counselor at the Eric Smith Middle School. “I would like to figure out some coping mechanisms to deal with these situations, and I would just like to put this on file so if something happens again, we can show that there was past bullying situations.”

Sawyer was punched in the abdomen at school on May 16, 2006, dropping him to his knees. When he came home that day, he complained of pain in his back but otherwise felt fine, his father, Joel Rosenstein said.

Two days later, the seventh-grader let out a scream in his bedroom.

“We picked him up and called an ambulance,” the father said. “He hasn’t walked since.”

The blow had caused a clot in a major artery that supplies blood to his spine, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down from what his attorney described as an “incredibly rare” injury.

Sawyer Rosenstein, now an 18-year-old freshman majoring in communication at Syracuse University, told The Associated Press that he decided to talk about the case to let others who are bullied know that they can recover and to let would-be bullies know that violence can have serious consequences.

The Rosensteins also settled a claim against the boy who attacked their son.

Advertisement