The Woodbine School District has agreed to allow a student who was allegedly bullied to attend the Cape May County Special Services School in Cape May Court House.
Harry Scheeler said his son, Sebastian,12, is much happier at the new school, which he has attended for the last couple of weeks.
“He’s happy to go to school in the morning,” he said.
Scheeler filed a discrimination lawsuit against the school district last year. He said his son has severe Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Asperger’s Syndrome, which cause some behavioral issues. He said Sebastian started getting bullied in September 2012 and it got so bad he was depressed and afraid to go to school. He was put on home instruction from December 2012 until December 2013, then attempted to return to school with an aide. But, Scheeler said, his son was still bullied and threatened.
At a court hearing in March in Atlantic County Superior Court in Atlantic City the school district’s attorney, Eric Harrison, said the district had agreed to re-evaluate Sebastian. Scheeler said his son has a new Individual Education Plan that includes placement at the Special Services School.
School officials declined comment citing student confidentiality laws.
Scheeler is still seeking damages and legal costs in court. His attorney, Michelle Douglass, said there is still a claim against the district for not having taken action more quickly. She said the Scheelers are seeking damages for emotional distress and reimbursement of legal costs. She said they hope to mediate a settlement with the district, but no specific amount has been requested.
Scheeler said his son is smart, but fell behind in school because he was on home instruction for so long. He said he felt he had no choice but to file a lawsuit.
“I just wanted a proper placement for my son,” he said. “They could have done this a year ago.”
Contact Diane D'Amico: