NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A former Manhattan prep school student is now suing, saying school officials were negligent in addressing the “serious” bullying he was subjected to.
The attorney for Eric Giray, who is now 19 years old, says his client’s classmate, Daniel Dworakowski, called him names like “elephant ears” and mocked his religion during grades 6 through 8 at the Calhoun School on the Upper West Side.
“They called him ‘gay,’ which is not true…we have emails documenting that incidents were taking place,” attorney Ric Cherwin told 1010 WINS.
The lawsuit, which was filed in Manhattan Supreme Court on Thursday cites the school’s “failure to protect students” and “a failure to mandate anti-bully rules and regulations.”
Cherwin said that in 2004, Giray was pushed down bleachers by Dworakowski, which led him to suffer a broken nose and required 18 stitches. Both students were 12 years old at the time.
“The defendant, Daniel, is not denying that he pushed Eric, he’s simply saying it was a game. But it was no game and there was months of taunting, accusations. I mean, real serious bullying,” Cherwin said.
So why is the lawsuit being filed after so many years?
Cherwin explained that his client was previously told litigation at that time could jeopardize him getting into college.
“Apparently they had spoken to an attorney at the time of the incident who told them that filing a lawsuit like this could impact negatively on his ability to get into a college or university of his choice and that it would be best to wait until he gets into a college and then to do this and that’s why they waited,” Cherwin said.
Giray’s attorney said that client’s mother even sent emails to the school, to which officials responded they would be “looking into” the alleged bullying.
“They never took care of it,” Cherwin said.
Giray is seeking $1.5 million in damages.
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