Punched, stabbed and kicked: Why Horry County Schools was sued over bullying

A St. James Middle School student was punched, stabbed and kicked at school, forcing him to switch to homeschooling to avoid the torment, according to a lawsuit filed against Horry County Schools on July 3.

The suit alleges that the boy, who is younger than 15 years old and identified only by the initials N.K., was the target of "severe bullying" that resulted in serious injuries.

The assaults happened while N.K. was left unsupervised, with the district failing to protect him, according to the complaint that was filed by the student's court representative.

After each assault, the child reported the incidents to a teacher at St. James, but the school never helped N.K. nor prevented any future assaults, according to the suit filed in Horry County this week.

The suit details three alleged assaults on N.K. in 2017:

  • The first was on Feb. 17, when a punch to the nose gave him a deviated nasal septum.
  • On Sept. 28, N.K. was stabbed by another student at the school.
  • On Nov. 15, a kick from behind dislocated his left knee.

After the last assault, N.K. was placed on home-bound education after his doctor said he was worried the boy would continue to get hurt if he stayed at St. James, according to the lawsuit.

The plaintiffs are suing for gross negligence due to the district's failure to protect N.K. The suit asks for an unspecified amount of damages to pay for past and future medical bills, expenses for psychological treatment and other costs.

Horry County Schools spokesperson Lisa Bourcier said in an email that "HCS does not comment on pending litigation."

Christian Boschult, 843-626-0218, @TSN_Christian