A middle school student in Georgia stabbed another student fourteen times in the school’s gymnasium last spring.
Ashley Wilson, the mother of the victim and resident of Henry County, southeast of Atlanta, is currently suing Ola Middle School in McDonough, claiming that the administration knew the suspect, an eighth-grader, had a knife and meant to use it, but did nothing.
“The attack resulted in 14 stab wounds and lacerations across Ashley’s daughter’s body — everything from her face to her neck to her back to her breasts. And she is, to this day, still recovering both physically and emotionally,” attorney Adam Princenthal, founding member of the Princenthal, May & Wilson law firm in Sandy Springs, Georgia, told Fox News Digital.
Wilson’s daughter “is covered in scars everywhere,” with one scar on her face being “the young lady’s main concern” because it “remains noticeable to this day.”
The lawsuit claims that after a school resource officer (SRO) alerted school authorities on March 14 that the female suspect was in possession of a knife on school property and had threatened the victim’s friend, school administrators took no action.
The complaint states that administrators failed to investigate the kid or take appropriate action in accordance with school policy, even after receiving the SRO’s report.
Wilson’s daughter was not the target of the juvenile suspect’s threats against other pupils the day before, but on March 15, the kid allegedly attacked her in the gym at Ola Middle School.
While the victim was on her way to gym class, the suspect approached her and started to harass her. The lawsuit claims that the victim attempted to leave and requested that the suspect leave her alone “several times.”
“[T]eachers who witnessed the harassment did not [defuse] the situation,” the complaint states. “The teachers who witnessed the bullying failed to keep [the victim] safe while on school property.”
The suspect started stabbing the victim as soon as she entered the gym. The attack was captured on camera by a different student and took place in front of some rowdy classmates.
“Of course, the administrators knew the knife was on campus and did nothing. And then the knife was brought back on the 15th to be used against [the victim’s] friend. And again, the administrators knew about it, did nothing,” attorney Andrew Gould said.
Henry County Schools does not comment on ongoing legal concerns, a spokesman for the district told Fox News Digital.
Following the incident, Mary Elizabeth Davis, the superintendent of Henry County Schools, stated in a video message that the district’s “schools are designed to be centres of quality education and safe havens for young people to develop, grow, and succeed.”
“Henry County Schools makes a daily commitment to be a district where every student is valued and knows that they belong,” Davis said. “As your superintendent, I accept the responsibility for creating the systems that ensure students learn at high levels and that students have opportunities to succeed. But my first and most significant responsibility is to ensure a safe school for every one of our nearly 44,000 students.”
Wilson’s solicitors claim that the suspect was taken into custody, but at the time of writing, no further details on the criminal case were available.
According to Princenthal, school administrators “failed to do that here,” and their civil case is predicated on “the fact that there were written policies in place that govern how the administrators and the other employees of the Henry County school system should act when receiving certain types of information.”
“It’s not a choice,” Gould said. “It’s required that the administrators conduct an investigation. And it’s required that a student who brings a dangerous weapon onto campus be expelled. These things were not done, so even the most basic initial step — an investigation — would have prevented [the attack] from occurring.”
According to Princenthal, Wilson and her legal team are pursuing justice for her daughter as well as the security of all employees and students in Henry County as well as the state of Georgia.
Gould pointed out that in this instance, violence to instructors may have happened just as easily as harm to a student due to the lack of looking into threats from students.
“Who’s to say it wouldn’t have been a teacher? So, not only are they putting all the children at risk, but by not following their mandatory rules, they put the teachers at risk and all other employees at risk,” Gould said. “The broader goal is to create a safer environment for children in Henry County District, as well as across the state of Georgia, to make sure that each and every administrator knows what will and will not be tolerated.”
According to Georgia law, the attorneys had to send a letter, or an ante litem notice, to the county officials about the litigation before they could file a complaint.
An insurance claims examiner for Henry County Schools responded to the notice by stating that Wilson’s lawsuit is not legally liable for the $3 million in damages she is seeking, nor are any County employees. Moreover, the examiner refuted the school district’s culpability in the case.