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Lawsuit alleges bullies threatened, harassed Queens girl while DOE stood by

A Queens girl was brutally bullied in school and on social media for years by classmates who threatened to kidnap and kill her — while administrators at PS 135 did nothing to stop the abuse or punish the abusers, the victim’s mom charges in a lawsuit.

The girl, whose name is being withheld by The Post, has been diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder following the relentless harassment. To get away from her harassers, she is now homeschooled, said the mom, who is suing the city, the Department of Education, administrators and teachers.

“I went there countless times. I emailed the DOE. I spoke to people many times. There was nothing done by the DOE to discipline these students, which is why it further escalated to online harassment,” said the 29-year-old mother.

“This really crushed my family,” she told The Post, adding her of daughter, “went to school each day being in fear of her safety.”

A lawsuit alleges that the girl’s teachers and other administrators stood by while the bullying continued.
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The bullying began in September 2019, when the then 10-year-old fifth-grader had an accident at the Queens Village school with her first menstrual cycle, and a classmate identified in court papers only as “M.P.” humiliated her, the mom claims in Manhattan Federal Court legal papers.

But instead of disciplining M.P. the school took no action, and M.P. allegedly lied to other classmates that the victim had “spoken badly about them behind their backs,” prompting the group to cruelly set upon the girl, the family contends in the litigation.

Administrators eventually spoke to the alleged offenders and switched the victim’s classroom but the harassment escalated at lunch, when the bullies would record the girl on their phones, according to the lawsuit.

The offenders then published videos and hate pages on YouTube and TikTok and harassed the girl via online gaming platform Roblox, using the victim’s image, threatening to kill her and using “offensive sexual language,” the family charges.

The bullies harassed the girl on YouTube and TikTok.
The bullies harassed the girl on YouTube and TikTok.

“I’ll f–king kill you bich [sic] … I’ll beat you and your mom,” one TikTok threat read.

“The DOE did absolutely nothing to protect my daughter,” the mom said. And not only did the bullies never get disciplined, it was the victim who was forced to sit in a guidance counselor’s office during lunch.

After the mom reached out directly to the DOE, Principal Diana Lagnese and other administrators claimed they were investigating the situation, but “Lagnese has been investigating this matter the entire school year with proof of the bullying …. but took no action to discipline them,” according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit comes amid plummeting school suspensions and a progressive push to use mediation-focused “restorative justice” to soften disciplinary measures, which teachers have decried as unsafe.

“That was completely disrespectful for them to not even give me a reason why the people who maliciously attacked my child could not receive any discipline,” the mom said. “What’s their excuse for [letting the bullies] get away with this?”

The child continues to suffer — even as her family is being made to wait by DOE on a safety transfer to a middle school outside the neighborhood.

“My child is very different now than before this incident happened,” the mom said. “I would catch her in her sleep, crying.”

The family is seeking unspecified damages.

“There has been a complete and total lack of a response by the DOE to this very grave situation which has endangered a young girl’s well-being and caused significant harm that is inexcusable,” said the mom’s attorney, Stewart Karlin.

“Bullying and harassment have no place in our schools or our classrooms. We will review the suit,” DOE spokesperson Suzan Sumer said.

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