ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — For the second time in less than a week, another family has filed a lawsuit against Admiral Farragut Academy in St. Petersburg amidst allegations of racially motivated bullying.
- Family files bullying lawsuit against Admiral Farragut Academy
- Son said he was bullied, called the N-word, beat with Lacrosse sticks
- Academy denies bullying claims
According to Michael and Stacey Hughes, their son was traumatized by the extreme bullying he received at school from his peers.
Just weeks after their son started at Admiral Farragut Academy, the Hughes say they noticed changes in their son — anxiety, emotional stress, and even loss of appetite.
Eventually their son told his parents that he was being bullied. He said he had been called the N-word, told to go back to Africa, and beat with Lacrosse sticks.
A spokesperson from the academy released a statement saying:
"...This matter involves a student who was dismissed...two years ago for violating our school’s code of conduct. Four months later, the student’s family contacted the St. Petersburg Police Department...Officers from the department conducted interviews...but were unable to find any evidence supporting the student’s claims."
However, the Hughes say their son was not dismissed, but that he withdrew from school after he was disciplined for standing up to the bullies. The family's attorney also noted that school officials even refunded his tuition.
“I have never known a private school to return a full refund, not a partial, not a fraction, to a family if their child had violated any part of the students conduct code," Attorney Michelle Rayner-Goolsby said.
"What I think they thought is that let's give the Hughes back their money. Shhh. They're not going to say anything. I just want to let you know that Micheal and Stacey Hughes cannot be bought," Rayner-Goolsby said.
The school, however, has denied any bullying on its campus, including the previous lawsuit filed involving a former female student.
The academy says it thoroughly investigates accusations of bullying and will not hesitate to take action when its standards have been violated.
The family says they just want an apology for what they call unchecked racism at one of the area's premiere private schools.
Watch the video above to hear from the Hughes about what happened to their son: