Karma, she’s a funny lil’ beyotch isn’t she?
When Sawyer Rosenstein was 12, a punch from a bully changed his life forever, leaving him paralyzed, and at times, near death from the complications of his condition.
Now, six years after the assault, the New Jersey school district where he was a student has agreed to a $4.2 million settlement.
“It feels really great to finally have just a sense of closure … that this really difficult part of my life is behind me,”
Rosenstein, an 18-year-old freshman majoring in communication at Syracuse University, told msnbc.com. “I can actually focus on all of the successful things that I am doing now and all of the successful plans that I have for my future.”
The Rosenstein’s lawyer, Jeffrey Youngman, said the settlement was “absolutely unique.”
“I see stories virtually, if not daily, every other day on bullying and … it’s one of the first stories where there actually was a result that’s positive and truly helps the family,” he told msnbc.com, noting that the Ramsey Board of Education does not admit liability.
“But the facts surrounding this case are unbelievable, they’re dramatic in that you have a child that was actually pro-active” about dealing with the bullying, he said.
During his time in middle school, Sawyer wrote many letters and emails to his principal and school staff informing them of bullying , but nothing was done.
“I would like to let you know that the bullying has increased,” he wrote to his guidance counselor three months before the assault that left him paralyzed, in an email that was reported by The Record. “I would like to figure out some coping mechanisms to deal with these situations, and I would just like to put this on file so if something happens again, we can show that there was past bullying situations.”
On May 16, 2006, a bully punched Rosenstein so hard that he fell to his knees. Two days later, he screamed out at home.
“We picked him up and called an ambulance,” his father told the newspaper. “He hasn’t walked since.”
Rosenstein was paralyzed from the waist down due to a clot that had formed after the blow in a major artery above his abdomen. When the clot moved down to his spine, it burst, leaving him paralyzed. Complications resulting from his paralysis, such as scoliosis, led to19 surgeries and a complete spinal fusion. He almost died several times, Youngman said.
Smart kid, dumb school. Oh the irony…
Image via MSNBCMore On Bossip!