Teen sues LAUSD for allowing bullying to escalate

VAN NUYS, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A teenager is suing the Los Angeles Unified School District, claiming his school failed to protect him from being severely bullied because of his sexual orientation.

With his mother and attorney Gloria Allred by his side, high school student James Anthony Scott, who describes himself as a gender-non-conforming gay person, announced he is suing the LAUSD, after he says he was harassed, bullied and tormented for his sexuality, and for sticking up for a classmate with autism.

"Waking up every day, knowing what I would be confronted with, wondering what next level that these students would take in humiliating me, physically assaulting me," said James Scott. "I was tormented and I was petrified every single day walking to and from school."

Scott, who goes by the name "Shear," says after he stuck up for the student at Daniel Pearl Magnet High School, other students tripped him, called him names, threatened him and stuffed messages with epithets in his locker.

"There's no excuse for it, there's no justification for it, and it's not something that we can tolerate and accept," said Allred. "Words alone are not sufficient to protect young people."

Scott and his mother allege the school did not do enough to stem the tide of bigotry and bullying, which they say even escalated to students nearly hitting him with a car and spitting at him.

He says he experienced severe anxiety and panic attacks. Eventually he left the school.

"Bullying hurts, and words hurt also," said Amber Baker, Scott's mother. "As parents, we need to teach our children to help and to be kind to those who they perceive as different."

In a statement, the LAUSD said: "The District investigated and took action to enhance a school climate that is positive and affirming for all students."

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