Parents of Alex Moore file wrongful death suit against board of education

Published 3:02 pm Friday, May 18, 2012

The parents of a Jemison student who jumped to her death in 2010 are suing the Chilton County Board of Education, claiming the wrongful death of Alex Moore.

A complaint was filed on behalf of Jill Moore and Jim Moore on May 14 in U.S. District Court, Middle District of Alabama.

The complaint alleges Moore was bullied so severely that it caused her to take her own life in May 2010, and that school employees were “indifferent” to the situation.

“Failing to act or respond to bullying cannot be characterized as reasonably related to any part of an educational plan,” the complaint reads. “…The informal policy of the defendant—to fail to train, supervise or monitor administrators, teachers, employees and staff on the dangers of bullying in school was a moving force in the eventual suicide of [Moore].”

The attorney for Moore’s parents, Michael Zimmerman of The Zimmerman Law Firm in Waco, Texas, declined to discuss the case but offered a statement:

“The lawsuit speaks for itself. We’re not going to make any comment on any lawsuit that is currently in litigation. The family simply does not want this to happen to any other child.”

The board of education had not filed an answer as of press time, and the board’s attorney, John Hollis Jackson, said officials weren’t far enough along in the process of analyzing the complaint to make a statement.

After an answer is filed, the federal judge would issue a schedule of proceedings.

Alex Moore jumped off an Interstate 65 overpass the morning of May 18, 2010. She left a note to her parents, which was included in the complaint. Part of the note reads, “…I can’t take this crap anymore.”

The complaint also details several specific instances of bullying: having her pants stripped down in front of a group of peers, being locked in a janitor’s closet and being targeted for a contest in which older boys would “chase and catch a girl they thought was the ugliest and fattest girl, and to kiss that girl on the cheek.”

The complaint alleges Moore was particularly vulnerable to the abuse because she was overweight and had Blount’s Disease, a growth disorder associated with children and adolescents that causes the lower leg to angle inward and give the person a bowlegged appearance.

Moore had surgery to correct the effects of the disease, which caused her, at various times, to use a wheelchair, a walker and to have an awkward gait.