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Federal judge throws out another Mentor bullying-suicide suit
Judge Nugent says the bullying may have occurred but not because of the girl's nationality
by WKSU's VIVIAN GOODMAN


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Vivian Goodman
 
Dragan and Celija Vidovic and their daughter at a community remembrance in Mentor for Sladjana.
Courtesy of VIVIAN GOODMAN
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In The Region:

A federal judge has thrown out a second lawsuit against the Mentor school district related to bullying and suicide.

The parents of 16-year-old Sladjana Vidovic had claimed she killed herself after sustained bullying at Mentor High School. They argued the school district knew about the abuse and did nothing to stop it.

District Judge Donald Nugent dismissed the suit today, saying Mentor did not violate the girl’s constitutional rights. Ken Myers is the attorney for the Vidovics.

MYERS on Nugent's ruling

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“I don’t think he says there wasn’t bullying. It’s just that it’s got be characterized as being based on nationality or religion or gender or disability, what are called  the protected categories.”

Myers says he thinks the Vidovics have a valid argument that the taunting of Sladjana – who immigrated with her family from Bosnia -- makes it a federal case, and he will recommend they appeal. He’s also recommending they take up the case in state court.

Judge Nugent also threw out a similar suit in 2011 filed by the family of a 17-year-old Mentor student – Eric Mohat -- who also committed suicide.

The school district and its attorney could not be reached for comment.


Related Links & Resources
Vivian Goodman's examination of bullying and its impact

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