Bullied Student with Special Needs Awarded $250,000


Zachary, a 13-year-old El Paso, Illinois student diagnosed with autism was repeatedly bullied during school transportation by two older students. Although the bus driver was aware of the bullying, he failed to intervene in the attacks or inform school officials. After noticing cuts and bruises on his body more than six months after the bullying began, Zachary's parents contacted the police.

Even though neither the student nor his parents reported the bullying to school officials, Zachary's special needs status and difficulty communicating combined with the driver's outrageous misconduct likely implicated the school district. A jury awarded Zachary's family $10,000 for pain and suffering, $150,000 for emotional distress, and $90,000 for loss of normal life.