Sat. Jul 20th, 2024

By Donna Westfall


Donald OlsonOn April 20th, Attorney Jay T. Jambeck, from the Leigh Law Group out of San Francisco.  filed a lawsuit in Federal Court against the Del Norte Unified School District (DNUSD) and Don Olson, individually, over the bullying of two minor children (minor Plaintiffs).

The minor Plaintiffs started in DNUSD in the 4th and 7th grades respectively.  The District enrolled 3,595 students of which 56% are white.  The minor Plaintiffs are bi-racial of African-American and Caucasian descent.

The lawsuit contends that beginning in the 2011-2012 school year and continuing to the present, the minor Plaintiffs have been harassed based upon their race by other students and employees of DNUSD.

After numerous times of being called, “Nigger,” and “in a number of fights where he had to defend himself from bullies harassing him regarding his race,” complaints made to then Superintendent Don Olson were inadequately addressed and the pattern continued.

There are three counts listed in the lawsuit:

42 U.S.C. §2000d (Disparate treatment – hostile environment –
minor plaintiffs against District)

(minor Plaintiffs against Don Olson)

“OLSON, acting under color of law as superintendent of DNUSD, deprived the minor Plaintiffs of equal protection under the laws in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983 by failing to take reasonable actions to provide the minor Plaintiffs. a harassment and bullying free educational experience equal to the educational experience provided to their other students.”

“OLSON acted with deliberate indifference by failing to discipline or reprimand the school principal for blaming the family of the minor Plaintiffs for merely complaining about harassment and bullying.”

42 U.S.C. §2000d
(Retaliation – S.F. against District)

“No recipient or other person shall intimidate, threaten, coerce, or discriminate against any individual for the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege secured by section 601 of the Act or this part, or because he has made a complaint, testified, assisted, or participated in any manner in an investigation, proceeding or hearing under this part.”

Because DNUSD operates under State and Federal laws due to receiving Federal funding, the case will be heard in the Northern District Court.


7 thoughts on “Family Files Lawsuit Against School Over Bullying”
  1. No child should be bullied. It scars them for life . Wow Jolene Hanson . I’m so sorry your baby has to go through that. Racial slurs, profiling or any type of racism is unacceptable to me. Period. My son has had issues with bullying as well and he’s going to start Crescent Elk next year and I’m terrified for him. Kids are so cruel these days and honestly I think the parents should be held responsible for their children’s actions when it comes to bullying, I mean they have to learn it from somewhere. My children were taught to treat others the way they would like to be treated. Guess I’m old school but I thought it was called manners.

    Nikki Marquez

  2. My son has been bullied since 1st grade when he was jumped by 2 others. He spent the majority of his elementary school years eating in the office because he was scared. Middle school was not better and now in high school same issue of bullying. The issue has trickled into his daily life he is forever effected.
    He hates school his grades suffer.

    His entire school experience in Crescent City has been hurtful.

    I went everywhere for help, the school teachers, principals, school board, police but no one would listen in this town. I wish someone would listen to us.

    I hope this family wins it’s case. Jambeck please help our students !

  3. My daughter was taken out of the High School, and is home schooled. I had continual problem with two girls getting off the bus from Sunset School, and coming on DNHS after school to wait for her, to beAt her up. multiple complaints, and meeting with the principle. I feared for her safety, because of the threatening texts she received daily. Both girls were older, one was 19, and one was 16, she was 14 at the time. The schools do not take these thing serious, and I couldn’t be happier with how well she is doing at Castle Rock. She can finally rest assure she is safe, and they take bullying serious.

  4. I pulled my daughter out of school and I homeschool now due to several reasons. The biggest being, she is autistic, non-verbal, she would come home from school with bite marks and bruises, I made several inquiries about how she got them and my concerns were never addressed, the placement wasn’t feasible for her to bite herself. She also at the time was incontinent, On many occasions she would come home covered in feces or soaked in urine, because no one would potty her before getting on the bus. My daughter used to love school until she attended Bess Maxwell. I pulled her out when I saw a teacher’s aide, physically holding a student down on the floor..face down with his hands locked behind his back, as if he were being arrested. That child couldn’t have been more than 9 yrs old at the time. I think of it like this…if they do stuff like that while a parent is in the classroom…What are they doing to our kids when we aren’t there, not to mention the non-verbal aspects. .my child couldn’t tell me what is/was/has happened. Just makes you wonder.

  5. I have made numerous calls and complaints to Mr Olson about the school where my 8 yr old daughter is going; to law enforcement, child welfare, also the Yurok tribe as to my daughter being called a “nigger.” She was pushed down and kicked, hit with a backpack, told she’s ugly, and the physical incident was reported to law enforcement and they saw the marks and bruises and still nothing has been done. This has been going on for 2 yrs. I would move my daughter to another school but the bus in our side of the city only goes to Joe Hamilton Elementary and I have no vehicle. Please let me know if anyone knows where else I can go to get this made aware of. sincerely Jolene Hanson

    1. You might consider calling Attorney Jay T. Jambeck, from the Leigh Law Group out of San Francisco that is handling the current bullying lawsuit. His number is 800 768 2168. At any rate, see what he says. 2 years is certainly too long for an 8 year old to be bullied.

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