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Teenager David Osama Haddad Bullied and Beaten because he’s Muslim

David Osama Haddad

David Osama Haddad

No teen should go through this. This violent act goes well beyond bullying.

David Osama Haddad, Indiana Teen, Bullied, Beaten Over Middle Eastern Ethnicity: Lawsuit (VIDEO)

The parents of a 17-year-old Indiana high school student say the constant bullying their son suffered due to his Middle Eastern ethnicity culminated in a beating that injured his brain, and are suing the school district for failing to intervene as his physical and verbal abuse escalated.

David Osama Haddad, a junior at Lake Central of Jordanian descent, was attacked in the hallway of his high school on Nov. 8 after repeated incidents of bullying he had reported to district officials, his parents allege in their lawsuit, according to NBC Chicago. Haddad suffered a traumatic brain injury and was treated at Community Hospital in Munster. Photos released by the family’s attorney show his face severely bruised.

“The principal [Robert McDermott] turned a blind eye to the repeated bullying and harassment of this student,” the Haddad family’s attorney Kenneth Allen said in a press conference Monday. “The principal was notified on several occasions of the situation, but did nothing. Inaction by those in charge in the face of injustice cannot be tolerated.”

Haddad’s parents, Osama and Hind, say the bullying their son suffered was consistently tied into his Middle Eastern heritage, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. They say Haddad was often called a “terrorist,” that taunted him when Osama bin Laden and Muammar Gaddafi were killed, and spread rumors that Gaddafi was Haddad’s uncle.

In January, the teen’s parents say a group of boys showed up at the family’s home in St. John, Ind. and tried to lure Haddad outside to beat him up, prompting his parents to inform the school of their concerns, which they say only escalated the problem, NBC reports. Hind Haddad said her son quit the football and baseball teams in part due to harassment, but the bullying only intensified.

The district’s Superintendent Larry Veracco is named in the lawsuit, along with School Board President George Baranowski, Principal Robert McDermott, and Assistant Principal Sean Beasley Jr., according to the Sun-Times. Several students are also named in the assault.

The Haddad family is seeking monetary compensation for their son’s injuries and have accused the school of violating his civil rights and failing to intervene, the Northwest Indiana Times reports. They filed a temporary restraining order Monday to prevent the video surveillance of the beating and prior complaints they had filed from being tampered with or altered. The students accused are junior and senior football and baseball players, Allen told the Times.

The Haddad family say their son’s injuries were severe, but the school failed to provide him medical treatment or call the police. Allen told the Times that none of the students involved in the beating were disciplined, but that David Haddad was suspended for 10 days for throwing one defensive punch while trying to get off the floor.

Haddad’s mother Hind says she’s afraid to send her son back to school.

“This is a parent’s nightmare, when they call you to tell you your son has been beaten up,” Hind Haddad told the Times. “It’s unbelievable.”

 

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  • I ask free Americans this question: does bullying the teen conform with American democracy and laws? If the beaten boy were a Jew, how would their reaction and the media’s be ???

  • AJ

    Lets pray that the boy has not suffered any life long brain injury and that he recovers fully, Amin.

  • K

    This breaks my heart .. Unfortunately this is the way of the Dyer and St John, Indiana, communities and Lake Central Schools … My child is bullied and made fun of, called “fatso and retard”, and the school he goes to also does nothing about it … He has been pushed down and kicked in the spine and again .. it is just over looked .. This part of Northwest Indiana is a horrible place to live … The parents and their children have major attitudes and do not like people who aren’t in their cliques … They do not like anyone who is different from them, whether it be religion, color of skin or who is on what sports team .. The irony is they all go to their big mega church every week and think that they are Christians …. They all brainwash each other that they are good .. when in reality they are the cruelist people I have ever met … We have lived many years of hell living by these hypocrites .. Haddad family you have my support for your son … I hope his emotional, mental and physical recovery goes well …. I am disgusted with LAKE CENTRAL SCHOOLS and their so-called leadership .. This is a disgrace and I am not proud to live here in Dyer !!!!!!!!!!

  • Nemo Fish

    So if this is what happens to an Arab Christian, what would have happened to an Arab Muslim?

  • Truth Hurts

    This is blatant anti-Semitic racism!

    I wonder if the King of Jordan, a close US ally will stand up & contact the US authorities, or is he just a stooge?

    Is this being publicised in Jordan?

    Imagine if he was of Jewish Israeli heritage?

  • Abdul-Rahman

    Very sad incident indeed, the hatemongers that did this need to be punished. Also as was already mentioned here, the family is a Jordanian Christian family (Jordanian Catholics I believe). Sadly reminds me of the history of the Crusades wherein the Western (“Latin”) Crusaders often attacked and killed just as many Eastern Christians (i.e. Eastern Orthodox Christians) and Jews as they did actual “Saracens” (term Crusaders used for Muslims).

  • marco

    Pam Geller would clearly be saying, what Islamaphobia? Clearly there is none at all – obviously we need to be blaming the Islamic extremists for agigtating these brave freedom fighters that they got so pissed off with their government theyt took it out on this guy.

  • Isa

    I think the principal should be fired immediately, and be disallowed from employment in any position (including janitorial) at every school in the country. The two students who beat him up should go to jail, and be forced to have Arab cellmates.

  • Robert Spinster

    Yet another strong sign of the increasing right wing xenophobic force in the US.

    When it comes to the bullying problem, the education system in this country has utterly failed to stop it. They may have anti-bullying policies and various programs, but if the system does not enforce it or does not effectively enforce, then the system is defeating it’s own purpose.

    The system needs to enforce stronger anti-bullying policies urgently. And these actually need to be reinforced.

    This was a race related case. This is definetly something to not take lightly. Racism is slowing trying to creep its way back into mainstream America, and so far it is experiencing success.

    New groups are being targeted as well. Individuals with red hair and freckles/pale skin are being referred derogatorily as “Gingers”. There is even kick a ‘Ginger’ day, drawing inspiration from the show South Park.

    With regards to this case, this is only another indication that groups that are ethnic minorities need to stand up to this kind of hatred. They cannot afford to be marginalised. It is imperative for not only them but others who oppose this hatred as well to stand up for their rights and to fight back.

    Indeed, this case is truly sick. The fact that this young man now has brain damage means that he will never entirely be the same again.

  • Usman

    They’re actually a Christian family. According to a comment on a local Fox website, David has a cousin fighting in the US military as well. All the more ironic.

    Of course, none of this makes the abuse any more outrageous. Ignorance is blind and hatred is nothing but hatred. Just thought to clear up that fact, though, as he is not a Muslim.

    If nothing else this needs to serve to heighten the solidarity of all those affected by blind racial and religious prejudice.

  • Al

    I read about this the other day. Sad stuff.

  • Crow

    Why are’nt the scumbags who did this in jail? It’s because of bullies like this that my kids are going into martial arts. I hope the Hadads win their suit.

  • mindy1

    How pathetic-some people really need to teach their kids anger management. The worst part is that school officials did nothing, they should not be allowed to let one of their students to get hurt like that 🙁

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