Last spring, a Georgia middle-school student stabbed another student 14 times in the school’s gymnasium.
Now, the victim’s mother, Ashley Wilson of Henry County, southeast of Atlanta, is suing administrators at Ola Middle School in McDonough, arguing that they did not take action against the suspect despite knowing that the then-eighth-grader had a knife and intended to use it.
“The attack resulted in 14 stab wounds and lacerations across Ashley’s daughter’s body — everything from her face to her neck to her back to her breasts. And she is, to this day, still recovering both physically and emotionally,” attorney Adam Princenthal, founding member of the Princenthal, May & Wilson law firm in Sandy Springs, Georgia, told Fox News Digital.
Wilson’s daughter “has scars everywhere,” including a scar on her face that is “the primary concern of the young lady” because it “remains noticeable to this day.”
The lawsuit alleges that school administrators did nothing after being notified by a school resource officer (SRO) on March 14 that the female suspect had a knife in her possession on school grounds and had made threats against the victim’s friend.
Despite receiving the SRO’s report, administrators did not investigate the student nor take action as required under school policies, according to the complaint.
On March 15, the juvenile suspect reportedly attacked Wilson’s daughter in the Ola Middle School gym despite the fact that she was not the focus of the suspect’s threats made against other students the day prior.
The suspect approached the victim as she was walking to gym class and began to harass her. The victim apparently tried to walk away and asked the suspect to leave her alone “several times,” according to the lawsuit.
“[T]eachers who witnessed the harassment did not [defuse] the situation,” the complaint states. “The teachers who witnessed the bullying failed to keep [the victim] safe while on school property.”
When the victim entered the gym, the suspect followed and began stabbing her. Another student recorded video of the attack, which occurred in front of a group of rowdy students.
“Of course, the administrators knew the knife was on campus and did nothing. And then the knife was brought back on the 15th to be used against [the victim’s] friend. And again, the administrators knew about it, did nothing,” attorney Andrew Gould said.
A Henry County Schools spokesperson told Fox News Digital it does not comment on open legal matters.
In a video statement recorded after the attack, Henry County Schools Superintendent Mary Elizabeth Davis said the district’s “schools are designed to be centers of quality education and safe havens for young people to develop, grow, and succeed.”
“Henry County Schools makes a daily commitment to be a district where every student is valued and knows that they belong,” Davis said. “As your superintendent, I accept the responsibility for creating the systems that ensure students learn at high levels and that students have opportunities to succeed. But my first and most significant responsibility is to ensure a safe school for every one of our nearly 44,000 students.”
The suspect was arrested, according to Wilson’s lawyers, but no other information on the criminal case was immediately available.
Princenthal said their civil case is based on “the fact that there were written policies in place that govern how the administrators and the other employees of the Henry County school system should act when receiving certain types of information” and that school administrators “failed to do that here.”
“It’s not a choice,” Gould said. “It’s required that the administrators conduct an investigation. And it’s required that a student who brings a dangerous weapon onto campus be expelled. These things were not done, so even the most basic initial step — an investigation — would have prevented [the attack] from occurring.”
Wilson and her attorneys say they are seeking justice for her daughter and safety for all students and staff in Henry County and all of Georgia, Princenthal said.
Gould noted that the failure to investigate threats from students could just as easily result in harm against teachers as it resulted in harm against a student in this case.
“Who’s to say it wouldn’t have been a teacher? So, not only are they putting all the children at risk, but by not following their mandatory rules, they put the teachers at risk and all other employees at risk,” Gould said. “The broader goal is to create a safer environment for children in Henry County District, as well as across the state of Georgia, to make sure that each and every administrator knows what will and will not be tolerated.”
The attorneys were required to inform county officials of the lawsuit with an ante litem notice, or letter, prior to filing their complaint, in accordance with Georgia law.
In response to the notice, an insurance claims examiner for Henry County Schools wrote that neither “the County or any County employees are legally responsible” for the $3 million in damages Wilson is requesting through her lawsuit. The examiner further denied liability in the case on behalf of the school district.