Mom to take stand in Volusia County school bullying lawsuit

Mother says Holly Hill teen was bullied so badly he sought therapy

By Erik Sandoval - Reporter

HOLLY HILL, Fla. - The mother of a teenager who claims he was bullied so badly that he had to seek therapy took the stand briefly this afternoon in her lawsuit against Volusia County Schools.

Local 6 first reported the story of Melissa Jones in December of 2011 when she said her son Dondre had been kicked and punched by students at Holly Hill and Campbell middle schools. The then-13 year old even had his pants pulled down -- something Dondre claims the students took pictures of and threatened to post to the internet.

As a result, his mother says Dondre has suffered severe depression, which required instense therapy and homeschooling.

On Wednesday, Jones testified for about five minutes, discussing Dondre's special needs and his care for what his doctors call post traumatic stress disorder.

"Is it more likely than not that for Dondre Jones, his mental, physical and emotional behavior were worsened after this event," asked an attorney.

"Definitely it was worsened," said psychiatrist Steven Kaplan.

Dondre's psychiatric care includes his current home in St. Augustine, which is a group home for boys.

His two doctors were cross examined by school district attorneys, where they probed into Dondre's "pre-existing conditions."

They asked them whether Dondre may have actually participated in the bullying.

"We're fighting the good fight," said Jones' attorney Earnest DeLoach, who filed the lawsuit against the school district claiming school leaders did nothing to protect Dondre or other students from bullying.

Jones has always said this case isn't about her son but about the other students in the Volusia County school district who are bullied.

Volusia school leaders wouldn't comment on the case.

DeLoach told Local 6 Dondre could take the stand Thursday.

Stay with and Local 6 for more on this story.

Copyright 2013 by All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.