A New Jersey judge has ruled that a school district can try to make the families of alleged bullies pay if the district is held liable in a negligence lawsuit.

The ruling last week is part of a lawsuit filed by a former student at Flemington-Raritan Schools and Hunterdon Central High School. He says the schools didn't protect him from ridicule and bullying by classmates, who made fun of his weight and his perceived homosexuality.

It appears to be the first time New Jersey schools forced parents of alleged bullies to be parties in a lawsuit. School attorneys say the parents didn't stop their children from tormenting the plaintiff.

The families' lawyers argued that lawsuits brought under New Jersey's anti-bullying law cannot be aimed at students.