Family of child with special needs sues Volusia Co. schools over bullying



VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. - The family of a child with special needs is slapping the Volusia County School District with a lawsuit Monday.

WFTV first brought the story of Dondre Jones in December 2011 when a group of students bullied him at Holly Hill Middle School and pulled his pants down.

Since then, the teenager has been enrolled in intense therapy and living away from home during his recovery.

Jones' mother, Melissa Jones, said the reason they are in court is to send a message of education for the school district, not for students like Jones, but for every student.

The jury selected for the case will hear how the now 15-year-old was bullied to the point where he needed to seek intense therapy.

"They started pulling on me and then another boy came from behind and pulled my pants down," Jones said last year.

During a break from court proceedings Monday, Jones said he is getting better.

"There is such a thing as praying, reading a Bible and going to church. That is what I had to do to be able to deal with it," Jones said.

His mother, Melissa, hopes her lawsuit sends a message to the Volusia County School District.

"Let them know that bullying is not tolerated, not just only for special-needs children but for the general population," Melissa Jones said.

Dondre Jones too has his reason for taking this fight to court, that maybe someone else will see his struggle and fight like he did.

"'Oh he did it…well maybe I can do it' and they will try," Dondre Jones said.

The district did not comment on the lawsuit.