When Sawyer Rosenstein was in middle school, he was bullied on a daily basis. Rather than hide it, ignore it, or fight back like many children, Rosenstein informed the principal and his guidance counselor, MSNBC reports. Then in May 2006, the bully punched him in the back, sending him to his knees. Two days later Rosenstein fell while at home, unable to stand. His parents rushed him to the emergency room where they learned the bully's punch had caused a blood clot to form in an artery in his abdomen. The clot moved down his spine and burst, leaving him paralyzed. As a direct result, in the last six years Rosenstein has undergone 19 surgeries and a spinal fusion. He has almost died on several occasions.
In 2009, three years after Rosenstein was paralyzed, his families'
injury lawyers filed
personal injury lawsuitsagainst the school board, various school administrators, the bully, and other unnamed individuals. The case alleges the school failed to protect Rosenstein against a bully with known violent tendencies. A settlement was reached with the bully in 2010.
The Ramsey Board of Education released a statement at the end of March 2012 announcing its insurance carriers agreed to settle after three years of depositions and pre-trial discovery. The board denies allegations that it or its employees had “failed or compromised its responsibility to develop and to implement effective policies and procedures to protect the safety and rights of the school community.” In reality, schools have a basic obligation to ensure the safety of all students that attend. A student was catastrophically injured while at school, indicating something went wrong.