Suit: Middle School Bully Started a 'Kill Her' Petition

Eleri Irons was awarded $1M by a Los Angeles jury
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 2, 2022 11:37 AM CDT
Updated Sep 4, 2022 4:30 PM CDT
Suit: Middle School Bully Started a 'Kill Her' Petition
An El Segundo Police Department report shared with the 'LAT' indicated the petition was circulated at lunch.   (Getty Images / dosecreative)

When Eleri Irons was 13, she says she was badly bullied by a trio of students at her middle school, and that the El Segundo Unified School District did nothing to protect her. A Los Angeles County Superior Court jury agreed. The district was last week ordered to pay the now-18-year-old $1 million in damages, the resolution of her lawsuit filed in 2019. In that suit, Irons alleged she was "bullied, tormented, and verbally assaulted" from November 2017 to June 2018, and that one student involved started a petition called "Let's kill Eleri Irons." The suit says teachers learned of the petition but did not alert Irons' parents.

Per NBC News, the suit also specified the bullying included "verbal harassment, spreading nasty rumors, and text messaging mean comments directly" to Irons. The teen "suffered PTSD, cut herself, and sought refuge in the school nurse's office nearly every lunch break," said her attorney in a news release cited by the Los Angeles Times. Attorney Christa Ramey added that Irons' parents did eventually seek help from El Segundo Middle School administrators and a counselor there, but found the situation was waved off as "drama over a teen love triangle."

Her father alleges the school initially told him it had alerted police about the death threat on June 13, 2018, but says police subsequently told him they were contacted by the school the following day, just minutes before a scheduled meeting he had with the then-principal. Irons and her father did speak to El Segundo Police; per a police report, Irons and her dad informed them the student who created the petition solicited signatures at lunch. That student, and a person who signed, were suspended, but no credible threat was uncovered by police. (More bullying stories.)

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