Child's family paid 500K to settle Blue Springs School District - KCTV5

Child's family paid 500K to settle Blue Springs School District bullying suit

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BLUE SPRINGS, MO (KCTV) -

The insurance provider for the Blue Springs School District paid $500,000 to settle claims filed by the parents of a 12-year-old boy who killed himself because of bullying.

The father of a student who aided his son in bullying Brandon Myers also settled the claims for an unknown amount.

The Blue Springs School District and the Brandon's family announced last week the settlement. They said a federal judge ordered the settlement sealed and it would remain confidential.

But the Missouri Sunshine Law states that settlement amounts involving government entities must be made public. KCTV5 filed an open-records request last week. The settlement amount was provided late Friday afternoon.

"In response to your request, the insurance company for the district offered $500,000, which was accepted by the plaintiffs," according to an email from the district. "Since the insurance company controlled the settlement, including the amount offered, there was no board vote on the settlement amount."

The actual agreement has not been signed by all the parties.

Court documents revealed gut wrenching allegations involving the bullying of Brandon, who hanged himself at home in February 2007.

Brandon was born with a cleft palate and underwent numerous operations. He took special education and speech therapy courses through the Blue Springs School District.

"The cleft lip and palate also created a marked speech impediment. Brandon stuttered and had trouble pronouncing certain sounds. Brandon also suffered from Attention Deficit Disorder and clinical depression," according to the family's attorneys.

Kimberly and Randy Myers said their son was the victim of relentless bullying from his fellow students. The bullying included physical and emotional abuse as well as verbal harassment. The boy was bullied over his disabilities, his clothes, his speech, his physical appearance, his lack of athletic skills, his academic achievement, his family's financial status and his social status among his classmates.

The Myers claimed that Blue Springs School District teachers, administrators and a counselor failed to protect Brandon from his tormentors and "actually fostered a system which allowed bullying to flourish." The district failed to do anything about the boy's severe physical, mental and emotional anguish he suffered from the bullying, according to the parents' attorneys.

The attorneys alleged that district officials and employees hid and destroyed evidence including Brandon's writings that documented the abuse. District employees allegedly hid and destroyed at least two suicide notes "in an attempt to protect themselves," the attorneys claimed.

The family sought better training for district employees in preventing and handling bullying.

As part of the settlement, the district agreed to hold an annual bullying awareness day.

Two administrators must undergo additional off-site bullying awareness training through a renown program.

The father sued wrote a write a letter of apology to Brandon's parents.

To read previous coverage and click here to watch his mother discuss the case with KCTV5 It's Your Morning.

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