Broward School District Faces Bullying Lawsuit

Brianne Vandereyden now takes virtual classes

The Broward County school district faces a lawsuit as a family says the district could have done more to stop their daughter from being bullied, which got so bad the young girl tried to commit suicide.

Brianne Vanderheyden, 13, says for six months she endured verbal and even physical abuse from fellow sixth graders at Ramblewood Middle School in Coral Springs.

A lawsuit filed against the school district spells out in detail what Vanderheyden, her parents and their attorney say she went through.

In the filing it says it all started with one boy calling her Pinocchio nose, teasing and insulting her appearance so loud in class other students would hear him, look at her and laugh.

"She started coming home saying she wanted a nose job, really depressed about her looks," said her mother Randi Vanderheyden.

Brianne’s mother says she noticed her daughter’s behavior changing. She claims she was angry, depressed, lashing out, and her grades suffered.

"It was just everyday. It was throwing stuff, she would hit the walls, it was just out of control. So finally I was crying, she was crying and I was like, 'Why are you treating us like this? And that's when she broke down and told us she was being bullied'," she said.

Brianne’s mother and father went to school to complain, but say the bullying continued, they say it got worse.

The lawsuit details that to get back at her one of the boys told Brianne "I’m gonna make your life a living hell since you told on me." Then he allegedly started teasing and humiliating her in class again.

Another time, the teacher moved Brianne’s desk next to one of her accused abusers, the boy saying out loud "I don’t want this white b**ch by me" and other imflamatory things.

Brianne says the other students laughed as the teacher did nothing. This time, Brianne kept it all to herself…until one day she couldn’t take it anymore.

And then one day, her parents found her in her room attempting to commit suicide, they said.

She survived, but now takes virtual classes, isolated at home because her parents and attorney say the district still is not doing enough to protect a victim of bullying, which they want rectified soon.

Brianne's parents wanted the accused bullies removed from school, which they say the Broward school district is legally allowed to do.

A district spokeswoman told NBC Miami she could not comment on the lawsuit while it's investigated.

Contact Us