Skip to main content

Man sues Duluth school after son's death, says staff ignored bullying

  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

A Duluth father whose 13-year-old son died by suicide is suing the school district.

Todd Seehus filed documents saying his son, Tristan, had been bullied and the school didn't do anything to stop it.

Tristan was "subjected to severe and pervasive harassment based on his actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender expression," the papers say.

The document goes on to note that the harassment Tristan endured was more than verbal.

It says other students physically attacked him, knocking books out of his hands and slamming him into lockers.

The abuse is said to have happened on Lincoln Park Middle School property – occasionally in front of school officials and surveillance cameras – and Seehus says school workers ignored and dismissed the bullying.

Then Feb. 12, 2015, the teenager took his own life.

The lawsuit says his death was a "foreseeable result of (the school's) failure to provide him a safe educational environment."

The Star Tribune says the district has put out a statement defending its policies on bullying.

“While we can’t comment specifically on the litigation, it’s important to know that our schools endeavor to create an environment where all students are treated with respect and to validate the rights of all students to a safe and welcoming environment,” a district statement said.

Bullying and suicide facts

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that in 2013, one in five high schoolers reported being bullied on school property.

Meanwhile, 81.9 percent of students who identified as LGBTQ in 2011 reported being bullied.

According to the CDC, suicide is the third leading cause of death in people between 10 and 24 years of age. It's responsible for about 4,600 lives lost each year.

Sixteen percent of high school students said they considered suicide over the course of a year – 13 percent reported making a plan and 8 percent said they actually attempted it.

Those who are victims of bullying are up to nine times more likely to consider suicide.

Next Up

UgstadRoadJunction

Charges: Teen speeding before crash that killed mother, injured her son

The teenager was driving at speeds between 72-89 mph at the time of the crash.

Northland Vapor in Moorhead, Minn.

Northland Vapor calls St. Paul regulators 'overzealous' in lawsuit over THC sales

The small Minnesota business said the lawsuit was "misleading" and "shameful."

image

Excelsior chocolate shop ransacked by thieves to reopen

Truffle Hill will reopen to the public on Friday.

https://www.dol.gov/sites/dolgov/files/OPA/newsreleases/2022/11/SOLWHDPSSI%20FILINGS.pdf

Company agrees to changes after child workers found in MN meat plants

An investigation found children ages 13-17 working hazardous jobs at the plants.

soda-g7792ca8e9_1280

Drinks can company to lay off almost 100 workers, close St. Paul plant

State authorities were informed of the impending closure.

MinceyMug

Suspect in Minneapolis bar killing charged with weapons crime

The suspect has not been charged with murder in the case as of Wednesday.

snow, blowing snow

A monster storm is coming next week: What will happen?

What we know with high confidence at this point is that there will be a monster storm in the central U.S. by the early and middle part of next week.

police lights

Boy safe after kidnapping by non-custodial parent in Mankato

The search prompted the temporary shutdown of I-35 Tuesday night.

Mugshots

11 face charges after being found 'exploring' Fridley sewer system

A 911 caller reported seeing a group removing a manhole cover Monday night.

image

Man killed by St. Paul police ID'd by family, community demands answers

The man was identified as 24-year-old Howard Johnson.

Screen Shot 2022-12-07 at 7.38.02 AM

Quick shot of snow to impact morning commute in Twin Cities

Snow is moving into the metro Wednesday morning.

Related