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Family plans to file $11M bullying lawsuit

December 1, 2010 2:48:55 AM PST
The family of a 9-year-old girl from Brooklyn is speaking out about the terrifying bullying their daughter allegedly endured.

The girl says she was beaten and forced to drink out of the toilet by two students at P.S. 22 in Prospect Heights.

Now, the family is planning an $11 million lawsuit.

Eyewitness News has changed the names, hid the faces and disguised the voices of all involved in this story.

That was done so 9-year-old "Victoria" and her mom "Ana" could tell their story in their own words.

"There were some boys behind me when I go to the girls' bathroom and then they went behind me. I heard something but I didn't get to see them. Then they covered my eyes to hold my hands behind me and they started punching me in the head and stomach and even in the private area," "Victoria" said.

The fourth grader says that was just days into the new school year, claiming two boys tortured her, forced her to drink toilet water, and threatened to kill her.

"They need to find the boys and need to, I don't know, maybe to get them in trouble," "Victoria" said.

"Victoria" spent five weeks in a psychiatric facility to deal with what allegedly happened to her inside P.S. 22 in Prospect Heights.

Her mother says Victoria went from being a happy little girl who got good grades to a scared child who wakes up at night in fear.

Ana says she felt terrible when her daughter told her what happened.

She went directly to school because her daughter was too afraid to tell anyone.

"Ana" says administrators told her that "Victoria" needed to socialize better with the other children.

Not satisfied with that answer, she went to the police and then got a lawyer.

The family's lawyer, Stephanie Ovadia, filed an $11 million notice of claim to sue the city for the alleged bullying.

"When our child is not safe going to the bathroom there has to be a lack of responsibility on the part of the school," Ovadia said.

District leaders say the allegation is being investigated but they can't comment further on the pending litigation.

"Victoria" is happy at her new school.

Her mother says she's thriving but is still not the happy little girl she once was.

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