A woman is suing a Los Angeles school district, alleging her son suffered permanent brain and spinal injuries after he was choked by another student while he was being bullied.

The mother told NBC News her son, who was 12 years old and a sixth grader at Animo Westside Charter Middle School at the time, was “brutally assaulted and strangled” in January 2018 by a student who was then 14. 

Video the woman's attorney shared with a local NBC News affiliate shows the boy being hit and choked outside of the school, and an employee with the school appearing to walk by without intervening.


The boy then drops to his knees, appearing to struggle to breathe, and other students can be seen helping him inside the school. Later, he goes limp, and school officials apparently carry him inside of an office. The boy allegedly suffered multiple seizures, but his mother says that authorities did not call 911 until after she arrived, 30 minutes after the reported incident.

The mother claims that school officials were aware the 14-year-old was involved in other violent incidents and “failed to take adequate action in order to protect the other students at the school,” NBC News reported. She is suing Green Dot Public Schools for negligent supervision and infliction of emotional distress. 

She alleges that she learned from other students what happened to her son once she arrived at the school and officials did not immediately tell her. 

An attorney for the boy, Ben Meiselas, blasted the school in a statement to NBC News.

“The staff did everything wrong, every step of the way, and showed a callous disregard for my 12-year-old client’s life and well being," he said. "This is unacceptable and every adult working for this school should be haunted by their conduct for the rest of their lives."

The mother said that doctors have said the boy has permanent brain and spinal injuries from being choked. Meiselas confirmed to NBC News that the boy now requires assistance to read and write, and he will have to be monitored for the rest of his life.

Green Dot Schools said in a statement to The Hill that it has not yet been served with a complaint, but that it is "committed to working to ensure all our students receive a quality education in a safe environment where they can learn and grow." 
"We are committed to supporting our students as they reach their innate potential to achieve their goals and succeed in college, leadership, and life. This means supporting their learning and growth within a safe, nurturing, and responsive environments where we combat bullying, violence, and discrimination," a spokesperson for the schools said. 

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has donated millions of dollars to the district, which has expanded to include schools in Tennessee and Washington state. A spokesperson for the foundation said it is not involved with the district’s day-to-day supervision.

"We believe all schools should provide a safe and welcoming environment for students and should have no tolerance for bullying or violence of any kind," the foundation said in a statement.