$10M Lawsuit Exposes a Culture of Bullying 

Word Bully

18-year old Ethan Treto is in the process of filing a $10 million lawsuit against the Center Moriches School District for negligence in a bullying case. Treto is now a senior at Center Moriches High School but has experienced bullying since middle school, according to his parents.

The incident that sparked this lawsuit began with a bullying “clique of athletes” in a bathroom on campus. Treto walked into the bathroom and was met with about ten students standing in a group and vaping. They refused to let Treto use the restroom, so he reported them for vaping on campus to the school’s security guard.

Shortly afterwards, during Memorial Day weekend, many students were at a house party, including Treto. He noted that the bullies were present at the party, and they appeared to be intoxicated. This is when the attack happened. The bullies beat Treto, broke his nose, punched his teeth out, and hit him in the head with a bottle, which caused him to fall to the ground.

The bullies continued to attack him until he fell unconscious, at which point dragged him back to the party like a “trophy…holding up my teeth,” according to Treto. When he regained consciousness, he was able to call an ambulance to receive medical attention. Following the incident, Treto had to get stitches in his mouth, jaw, and ear, and he is still in the process of ongoing nose and jaw surgery.

The “ringleaders” of the bully clique were arrested for misdemeanor assault, but Treto and his parents are going further. They allege that the school has failed to keep their students safe despite Treto’s report of a prior incident.

This is just one example of a toxic bullying culture which has been allowed to grow over many years in middle and high schools throughout the area. A disturbing lack of concern in the bystanders watching and even video recording the incident is evidential of a systemic acceptance of bullying. Unfortunately, this happens to students across the nation.

Unchecked bullying can lead to serious pain and suffering at such a young age. At Goldstein and Bashner, we believe in holding bullies and negligent schools accountable for playing a part in this toxic cycle. If you or a loved one has suffered from acts of bullying, please reach out to our compassionate attorneys today.

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