Lawsuit: Middle Eastern Teen Beaten for Race

Middle Eastern family files suit against school district, students

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The parents of a Lake Central High School junior have filed a lawsuit claiming he was bullied because of his race. The suit claims David Osama Haddad, 17, was bullied and attacked on November 8th because of he's of Jordanian descent. (Published Monday, Nov 14, 2011)

    The parents of a Lake Central High School junior have filed a lawsuit claiming he was bullied because of his race.

    The suit claims David Osama Haddad, 17, was bullied and attacked on November 8th because of he's of Jordanian descent.

    Haddad's attorneys say the beating occurred on school property, but the harassment and bullying had been going on for more than a year, but the administration turned a "blind eye."

    The teen's parents say a group of boys showed up at their St. John, Ind. house in January and tried to lure him outside to beat him up. The school was alerted but the suit alleges that the harassment only escalated -- including verbal taunts of "terrorist" and references to Osama Bin Laden.

    The school corporation, several administrators and seven boys in the junior and senior class are named in the lawsuit.

    His parents say the teen is recovering from his injuries, but he suffered brain injuries that are affecting his vision and balance.

    "We'd like David to be safe in case he has to go back to school. And we want no one to harass us at our house. And we want justice," said David's father, Osama.

    The lawsuit seeks whatever damages are assessed at the end of the suit.

    "I don't want this to happen to other children," David's mother, Hind, said. "It's a horrible, horrible feeling, and when I send my kid to school, I want him to be safe."

    A judge approved a temporary restraining order so that the teens can't come within 150 feet of the victim.

    School officials said Monday that they couldn't immediately comment on the lawsuit because it hadn't been served.