CARVER (CBS) – “You can see it decaying the life out of him,” says Robert Groezinger. He says he’s watched his 13-year-old son Zachary endure years of relentless bullying at Carver Middle School, because he’s Jewish.
“Giving him the ‘Heil Hitler’ sign, the Nazi sign as he’s walking down the hall, slamming into the locker, punching him in the head,” says Zachary’s mother, Jennyfer Sordillo. “Throwing pennies on my yard. Then they drew a swastika on my road.”
It’s the second family to come forward in one week, both with federal lawsuits claiming Massachusetts schools failed to protect their students. Earlier this week, 18-year-old Belle Hankey and her family filed a similar suit claiming she was bullied at Concord-Carlisle High School for years. “I was scared for my life walking through the halls and going to school,” she says.
These cases come to light three years after Governor Deval Patrick signed anti-bullying legislation. Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley says the law should be strengthened to make schools keep better records on bullying. “The anti-bullying law was a significant step to better protect our children, but we must continue this critical effort.”
Zachary Groezinger’s parents say Carver school officials not only ignored their cries for help, but one teacher even scolded him for wearing a yarmulke. They say that was their breaking point. “Enough is enough,” says Robert Groezinger. “It’s taking away from my son everything he wants to be.”
An administrator with the Carver School system tells WBZ the school received the lawsuit and referred it to the legal department. “Since this matter is now in litigation I cannot comment,” said School Superintendent Liz Sorrell.