Family files lawsuit against alleged teen bullies and their parents
A Las Vegas family has filed a lawsuit against four accused teenage bullies, and their parents. Video by ktnv.comvideo
Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- Cecilia and Jonathan Cutler say the bullying of their daughter started in the classroom and spread to the computer.
"I've seen the pain she's gone through," Cecilia says. "I've seen her spirit broken by these kids. I'm afraid she may never be the same."
"As a father, to see your daughter so emotionally distraught is incredibly difficult," Jonathan adds. "My wife was also a wreck. It's an experience I hope I never have to go through again."
The Cutlers claim four 8th grade students at Sig Rogich Middle School posted cruel and derogatory comments about their daughter on Facebook and Twitter.
Cecilia and Jonathan say the derogatory comments compared their daughter to an "Oompa Loompa" -- a character from the movie "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory." Negative comparisons were also allegedly made between the girl and the Latina cartoon character "Dora the Explorer".
The Cutlers believe those comparisons are racially motivated and mock their daughter's Mexican heritage.
"I want it to stop," Cecilia says. "I want my daughter to know this is not okay."
For Cecilia, the last straw was the vandalism of their home. She believe the same four teens are responsible for the damage.
"We came home one night to find frosting, syrup, eggs, and toilet paper all over our property," she says. "They ripped out our flowers and landscape lights. We had to get our home professionally power washed. There is permanent damage."
Cecilia says drawings of "Dora the Explorer" were stuck with forks all over the front yard.
"We knew we were targeted," she says. "It was malicious."
Now, the Cutlers are hoping to set a new precedent. They are suing the alleged bullies and their parents.
The Cutler's attorney, Tara Newberry, says the lawsuit isn't about getting money. Instead, it's about sending a message.
"We need to start holding everyone accountable," she says. "Bullying like that causes severe emotional distress, especially when it has racial undertones. It's inconceivable that anyone would think those actions are justified. Frankly, this proves every parent should be concerned about the effects their child has had on another and take responsibility for it."
The lawsuit is asking for more than $10,000 for each alleged wrongful act.
Action News tried getting in touch with the families who are being sued, but got no response.
The lawsuit alleges that one of the accused bullies is the daughter of a Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department captain. According to the lawsuit, that father went to the Cutlers' home after the vandalism was done and tried to convince them not to take action.
All of the teens involved in this case will be starting high school at the end of the month.