The Assault on Jared High
...a Public School Travesty
By Brenda High (Jared's mother)
On Wednesday afternoon at approximately 4:45 PM on May 6th 1998, Jared, (a 12
year old and sixth grader), was inside the McLoughlin Middle School gym making
a phone call for his older brother to pick him up after a sports activity.
After talking with his brother and hanging up the phone, Jared took a few
steps forward before noticing
the well known school bully, come into the gymnasium. Jared began to walk
towards the hallway door and looked at Brutus briefly, giving what Jared
called, "the evil eye". At that point, Brutus stopped Jared before
he could leave the gym by grabbing Jared by his shirt, into his fist.
While looking around, to be sure there were
no adults present, Brutus declared to Jared, "What are you going to do
about it now!" ("It" was being alone)
Jared commented later to insurance investigators
for the Pasco School District, that at this point he knew he "was about
to get beat up".
commenced to brutally assault Jared by picking him up and throwing or pushing
him against the walls, and as Jared fell to the ground, Brutus then kicked
and punched him in the stomach and shoulders. Several times Jared
yelled for help calling, "Teacher, Teacher!"
no one was there to help save Jared from Brutus.
was a very large 8th grader at McLoughlin Middle School. Some have referred
to Brutus as "fat with muscles", who was about 175 pounds or more.
Jared was, on the other hand, about 98 pounds and about six inches shorter
wasn't the first time this Bully had assaulted a younger or smaller child
because Brutus had a history of this type of behavior and had, in at least
one incident, been reported to the police. Just three weeks earlier
Brutus had hurt a smaller boy, (we'll call him John), by doing a running,
flying, karate kick to John's chest, knocking him to the floor. Furthermore,
this attack happened in the same gym that Jared was physically beaten in.
This assault was brazen because other people were in the gym, and, John's
mother was watching. When Brutus was told that John's mother was watching,
Brutus came threateningly towards her and lewdly made a gesture with his
private body parts. John's mother considered this a gang type insult and
a personal threat against her. John's mother reported this
behavior and assault on her son to the proper school authorities and a
police officer who took a report. They also took Brutus' account for their
records. Brutus told the authorities that John "threw the first punch".
John's mother said that she doesn't remember that anything was done to
make amends to her or her son and felt that because she and her son were
Black that the investigation into this incident was set aside and ignored.
back to Jared's story.
brutalized Jared repeatedly inside the gym at the local Middle School for
approximately eight minutes. Knowing there was no one around to save
Jared, Brutus came back several times, (once after getting a drink of water
and attempting to dump out Jared's backpack), and continued to assault
him. When Jared was able to escape to the inside of the building,
Brutus then followed him outside the building to throw him against the
brick walls a few more times, causing the back of his hand to bleed.
Brutus' gang friends witnessed this last part of the assault and, as gang
members usually do, defended their leader and did nothing to stop it.
They later labeled Jared as a "wimp" deserving of the beating he got.
bore no fault in this matter, and did not tease, swear or mouth off to
the Bully before the attack, although he did admit, as mentioned earlier,
to giving Brutus the "evil eye" and calling Brutus a "Faggot" as he was
getting beat up - which probably made Brutus beat him the harder.
Brutus threatened several times that he was going to kill Jared during
this attack and later, in front of Jared's brother and Brutus' friends.
The local Middle School officials never took any of these threats seriously.
This assault took place almost a year before the Columbine shootings.
I would like to believe that school officials would have paid more attention
to this threat if Jared would have been beaten up after April 1999.)
related that he got two kicks in self-defense, one while he was down on
the ground after being thrown there and the other when he was pinned to
a wall. Brutus just laughed and kicked or hit him back.
Jared's brother came to pick him up, Jared began to cry. He then
confronted Brutus, which caused an incident to happened between them.
This incident finally drew the attention of adults at McLoughlin Middle
School, (which, at the time, was the largest middle school in the State
of Washington). Its estimated that over twenty minutes went by before
any adults asked any questions or showed themselves in this matter.
the school officials were more concerned that Jared brother had kicked
the bully's butt, (literally), then the assault that Brutus had made on
was interrogated by a Vice Principal, (known for his arrogant bullying
of students), with no parent or adult there to help him answer to his abuser.
He interview both the Bully and Jared in the same room. Jared hardly
said a word, after all, "Brutus had threatened to kill him the day before.
So, in fear of retribution and of his life, Jared was willing to admit
that the assault on him was partially his fault. (Yes, because he
gave Brutus the "evil eye", he deserved to be brutally assaulted by him.)
Jared was intimidated by a bully twice his size and the Vice Principal
didn't care. Showing himself as a man of little common sense, and
to lazy to investigate what really happened, he suspended both Jared and
the Bully from school for three days for "fighting".
Brutus called our home on May 7th, to challenge Jared's older brother to a
"real" fight. The caller ID showed that the call came from Brutus' Aunts house
at 10:48 AM 5/07/98. No one was home to take the call, but a photograph was
taken of the caller ID for evidence of Brutus' threats, just in case they
did not find out about this attack until returning from a business trip
Thursday night (May 7th the next day).
Friday (May 8th) I filed a police report with a County Deputy and asked
them to press charges against Brutus, after a shocking visit to Jared's
Chiropractor. I had just returned from Jared's Chiropractor, who
looked at Jared's before X-ray (taken early February 1998) and then his
after the assault X-ray, and remarked, "It looks like he's been through
a major car accident!" Until then, I had no clue that Jared had been
seriously hurt as Jared had been quiet about his pain, other than the throwing
up and no sleeping part.
Chiropractor commented that if Jared had been thrown possibly one more
time against a wall, he might have had his neck broken and died.
The Chiropractor warned us that Jared would need many visits to handle
the trauma to his neck, shoulders, hips, and spine.
visiting with Jared's Chiropractor and the County Deputy, where they named
the incident classification as an "Assault", I took Jared to his regular
family Doctor. The doctor confirmed that his repeated vomiting was most
likely caused from stomach punches or kicks to the stomach. Jared
also was extremely sore, had diarrhea, no appetite and was not sleeping
well. At this time the doctor ordered Hydroxyzine for nausea and insomnia.
believe that Jared's lack of sleep would later explain the cause of his
BI-Polar type Depression. We believe that the injuries to his neck
and shoulders caused Jared to hear, "noises in his head", as he mentioned
to his grandmother and sister during the summer of 1998.
worst of all, we believe Jared's low self esteem was caused by the blame
that the McLoughlin Middle School Administrator gave Jared for the assault,
basically giving him the opinion that he deserved what he got from the
school bully, Brutus. This was a cruel act done by the Pasco School
District so they wouldn't have to pay Jared's Chiropractic bill.
this Local School District had truly cared for Jared, their student and
a victim of assault in their school, they would have taken responsibility
for Brutus' action. They knew Brutus had a file 'a mile long' of
violence and threats and they knew he was a liar!
a student they knew was dangerous, to be unsupervised and assault another
student was negligent and a failure of this local Middle school to meet
the standard of care that a public school should meet for its students.
But what was truly disgusting, and the worst of all, was to blame Jared
for the assault so the School District could weasel out of paying the bill
for his injuries and avoid giving Jared counseling. In comparison,
this seems like telling the battered wife that she deserved to get beat
up by her husband because dinner was late.
A few months after the assault, Brutus was told by Juvenile Authorities to go
to "Anger Management Class" at the High School for what he did to Jared. A
letter was sent to Jared by the Juvenile Authorities telling him that he was a
victim and that they were sorry. Jared, (a part time Special Needs
student), got no counseling for his emotional injuries from his middle school,
no help for his physical injuries, (other than the visits to the chiropractor
that his parents paid for), and no apologies, just blame and denial from the
Pasco School District.
of lack of counseling after this incident, Jared's self esteem plummeted.
Any School District should know that Special Needs children really need
extra attention when they are taken advantage of or assaulted by larger
students. I tried to get the Pasco School District to help Jared
and take some responsibility for their negligence, but I was denied any
help. Depression, possibly Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Jared's
physical injuries (particularly sleep problems and noises in his head),
and a feeling of worthlessness are what we know caused Jared to take his
life on September 29th 1998. Many psychologists have a new term for
this type of death - Bullycide.
is obvious to Jared's family that students in many School Districts as
well as the Pasco School District, cannot be protected even while they
are inside their school, let alone after school, or on the school grounds.
This is why we took Jared and his sister out of the Pasco School District
and put them into another School District. We believed a new start
would help Jared, but, sadly, depression doesn't go away that easily, and
this attempt to help Jared didn't save him from taking his life.
see on the news many examples of what angry boys can do to fellow classmates.
It totally amazes me that a young man, such as Brutus could be so brutal,
which sadly ended in the death of his victim a few months later by bullycide.
But what is worse, is paying out good tax dollars to send a child to a
School District who cares so little about the physical safety or psychological
welfare of a child. This School District would rather pass blame
on a child rather than face the consequences of their actions. One
can only pray that things will change for the better before getting much
is not the name of the bully. His real name has been changed to an
infamous historical back-stabber's name. This also protects the dignity
and honor of others that have the same name.