N.H. Supreme Court Set To Rule On 2011 Manchester Bullying Case

Sep 4, 2015

The state’s highest court will release its ruling Friday morning on whether a Manchester family can sue the school district over a bullying incident that happened more than four years ago.

The case involves a then-7th grade girl who got her teeth knocked out in the McLaughlin Middle School's cafeteria by two boys who allegedly teased her. The girl’s mother, Danielle Gauthier, argued this incident could have been prevented if her family had been told about a bullying incident earlier that week.  

Under the state’s anti-bullying law and Manchester’s own policy, schools have to notify parents 48 hours after any incident. But in 2012 Manchester Superintendent Tom Brennan told other media he did not believe the incident involved bullying.

The girl’s family sued the school district on a negligence claim and now the Supreme Court will decide whether that claim can go forward.

Three years ago the Superior Court ruled city employees cannot be found to be negligent, which the family’s lawyer argues is unconstitutional.

So far this is the first case to reach the Supreme Court level under the state’s 2010 anti-bullying law.