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Student attacked during meeting about alleged bullying, lawsuit alleges

A meeting to discuss cases of purported bullying in a Philadelphia middle school went terribly awry when, according to a lawsuit filed last week, the alleged antagonist attacked the accuser yet again.

The lawsuit was filed on Thursday by Faruq Robinson on behalf of his daughter, a seventh-grade student at Andrew Hamilton School in West Philadelphia. It alleges that Robinson’s daughter began being victimized in the fall of 2011 by another student who stalked and assaulted her. The allegations were reported to school officials, but the bullying continued, prompting Robinson and his late wife, Corinthia, to make several trips to the school.

Then, on Nov. 21, 2011, during a meeting at the school with the two students, their mothers and several school officials, the victim and the alleged bully were seated just one chair apart from each other without security officials present, despite their troubled history.

The reputed bully then allegedly got up and punched the victim in the head roughly seven times after becoming “visibly agitated,” according to the lawsuit, which also alleges that school staffers failed to intervene once the attack began.

The lawsuit, first reported by Philly.com, names the School District of Philadelphia, the School Reform Commission and six employees at the school as defendants. The attack caused Robinson’s daughter to suffer “severe emotional distress,” which required hospitalization. The girl later transferred to another school due to an “incessant fear of a reoccurrence of the incident,” the lawsuit reads.

Robinson, who has requested a jury trial, is seeking more than $131,000 in punitive and compensatory damages, as well as attorney’s fees.

A spokesman for the School District of Philadelphia declined to comment on pending litigation, Philly.com reports.

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