Jury orders district to pay in bullying lawsuit

A Keokuk Middle School student who said school officials ignored a threat that resulted in an attack won a legal victory against the district.

The lawsuit centered around an incident that occurred Oct. 31, 2011.

The student, who KHQA will not name because she's a juvenile, complained to school officials that a fellow student sent her a threatening text message.

The jury found that the school was at fault for failing to protect the child, the student's attorney Curtis Dial said. The school was negligent to protect her from assault.

The girl was later attacked, Dial said.

The jury found the district liable and ordered it to pay Steele more than $2,900. Her attorney said that will likely cover the cost of her medical expenses.

The two-day trial ended Wednesday.

The district released a statement Thursday afternoon through it's attorney Steve Ort.

Students' safety has been and will continue to be a primary concern of the Keokuk Community School District and the jury's findings will be taken into consideration in assuring these policies continue, the statement reads. We view the incident involving this student as an isolated and unfortunate occurrence.

The district also pledged to continue offering anti-bullying programs.

A call to superintendent Tim Hood was not immediately returned.

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