The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Local News

October 8, 2013

Civil trial begins for 2008 Pendleton bullying incident

ANDERSON — A civil trial brought by a former Pendleton Heights High School student against the school district began Tuesday in Madison Circuit Court 3.

The woman alleged that the school mishandled, or neglected to handle, the fallout of an instance of extreme bullying in 2008.

According to court documents, when the woman, 15 years old at the time, went to school on March 11, 2008, she found out there were pictures of her Photoshopped in a sexual suggestive manner posted all around the school. The fliers also included her real phone number.

The case files indicate school officials determined who the culprit was and immediately suspended him from school. He was also charged as a minor for distribution of child pornography and child exploitation, and was later placed on juvenile detention.

The woman and her family claimed that South Madison Community School Corp. was negligent in their handling of the matter, that proper counseling wasn't offered to the victim after the incident and that the family has struggled to recover since.

One key witness Tuesday was Dr. Pamela Porter, an expert in post-traumatic stress disorder who counseled the victim and her family after the incident. Porter said the woman now suffers symptoms of PTSD. The victim reported having symptoms of a panic attack the day of the incident, Porter said, and still has difficulty interacting with people without feeling anxious.

The incident has also affected the victim's focus, Porter said, to the point that she needs to constantly stay busy to take her mind off the bullying incident. Porter also said the label of PTSD could keep the woman from buying life insurance in the future.

"It's had long-lasting effects," Porter said.

Porter, who also has experience in crisis management, said the school could have done more to deal with the incident. According to Porter, school officials did little to acknowledge the incident, did little to offer the teenager a support system afterward and didn't provide her with proper counseling.

Text Only
Local News
  • NWS - HB0425 - Block Party - JC 2 Learning block by block More than 45 toddlers and parents came to the Pendleton Public Library on Thursday to play with blocks. Although that seems like a fairly normal, everyday activity, the children were learning skills that will help them down the road.

    April 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • Homeless man to be buried in Maplewood A funeral will be held at East Maplewood Cemetery at 9:30 a.m. today for Christopher Cook, a homeless man who died on April 17.

    April 25, 2014

  • Property tax deadline May 12 Almost 200 property owners have taken advantage of a new program implemented by the Madison County treasurer’s office that allows for monthly tax payments.

    April 24, 2014

  • City to celebrate Earth Day After a one-year hiatus, the celebration of Earth Day in Anderson will take place at Shadyside Memorial Park this Saturday.

    April 24, 2014

  • NWS - HB0425 - Primary Clerk-Tim Nardoni Clerk candidates discuss service, vote centers A seasoned politician is facing a candidate who says he is prepared to tackle the “egotistical officials pursuing lawless agendas” in this year’s race for Madison County clerk.

    April 25, 2014 2 Photos

  • South Madison offers 'cyber safety' program for parents From Facebook and Twitter to Instagram and Tmbler, the list of social media websites is long and seems to grow almost daily.

    April 25, 2014

  • NWS - HB0424 - Mike Spyers City plans to extend 67th Street to Main Street The city of Anderson is moving forward with plans to extend 67th Street from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard east to Main Street over the next few years as funds become available.

    April 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPT - HB0121 - Luck photo Luck, Colts to open season against Manning's Broncos

    The Indianapolis Colts will open the 2014 regular season at AFC champion Denver in a Sunday night showdown pitting quarterback Peyton Manning against his former team.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Arrest Log: April 24 Arrests made by Madison County law enforcement on Tuesday and Wednesday, based on Madison County Jail records.

    April 24, 2014

  • Ritz, Glenda Ritz to speak at APA's Senior Girls Luncheon Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz will be the guest speaker at Anderson Preparatory Academy's Senior Girls Luncheon on April 29.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

March Staff Photos


Buy and browse more photos from The Herald Bulletin

More Resources from The Herald Bulletin
Auto Industry Book
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Facebook