Administrators at a Georgia middle school ignored multiple warnings before a student stabbed a classmate over a dozen times, leaving her with “catastrophic” injuries, according to a lawsuit filed this month.
In March, a knife-wielding student stabbed a classmate in gym class at least 14 times “across her face, head, neck, shoulder, back and chest,” the lawsuit claims. Ola Middle School administrators failed to act even though they’d been warned that the student had brought a knife to school and was threatening classmates, according to the suit.
The lawsuit also says that on the day of the attack, teachers saw the assailant bullying the victim but didn’t intervene.
A spokesperson for the Henry County Schools system said Wednesday that the district does not comment on ongoing lawsuits.
Ola Middle School in McDonough, Ga. Google Maps Superintendent Mary Elizabeth Davis said the day after the attack that the victim was “seriously injured” after an argument turned physical. She added that the school district was working with the Henry County Police Department to investigate. A representative for the police department could not immediately be reached for comment Wednesday afternoon.
The lawsuit alleges that a student resource officer told administrators the day before the assault that a student had threatened to attack peers with a knife. The next day, another resource officer also told administrators that the same student brought a knife and had threatened to use it, according to the suit.
The victim’s mother told NBC affiliate WXIA of Atlanta that the attack left her daughter unrecognizable.
“Her blond hair was no longer blond. It was red,” Ashley Wilson told the station. “The clothes she went to school with that day were not on her. She was bandaged up. You couldn’t see really any part of her face at all. She was just covered in blood everywhere.”
Wilson is seeking damages covering her daughter’s medical expenses and pain and suffering. Paperwork submitted by the plaintiff’s attorneys notifying district personnel about the lawsuit indicates damages may meet or exceed $3 million.
Antonio Planas is a breaking news reporter for NBC News Digital.
Crystal Minaya is an assignment editor at NBC news