Bullied- a Film Response
Starting in seventh grade Jamie Nabozny was bullied almost daily. He was hit punched, kicked, and called names. He told the principle who said he would get help, but nothing changed. By the end of seventh grade Jamie tried to commit suicide by swallowing pills. Jamie returned to middle school for eighth grade and was cornered in the bathroom on the first day back. His mother immediately demanded a meeting with the bullies and their mothers to try to settle the bullying. The principle blamed Jamie for being openly gay and said boys will be boys. None of the bullies were punished.
Just weeks into high school and nothing had changed for Jamie. A bully peed on him. The school administration was largely ineffective. Some teachers tried to help; one teacher let Jamie eat lunch in her classroom. The bullying got so bad Jamie ran away to Minneapolis. Jamie ended up in a youth shelter. He tried homeschooling for a while but his parents could not afford to keep him on it and Jamie had to go back to school.
While back at school a beating turned so bad that Jamie ended up in the hospital, had surgery, and stayed for five days. Jamie ran away to Minneapolis again, at the youth shelter he met with a legal advocate who encouraged him to file charges. He also issued an ultimatum to his parents; either you let me go to school here or you will not see me until I turn 18. They let him finish his schooling in the cities.
Jamie registered at Hastings high school and the counselor recommended Inver Hills Community College for PSEO classes. He was attending Inver Hills while the court case was going on.
He sued his former school, but a trial court dismissed his lawsuit. Lambda Legal took over his case before a federal appeals court, which issued the first judicial opinion in the nation’s history finding that a public school could be held accountable for not stopping antigay abuse. The case went back to trial and a jury found the school officials liable