Longs appeal federal judge's ruling to dismiss lawsuit
MURRAY COUNTY, GA (WRCB) -- On October 17, 2009 David and Tina Long walked into their 17-year-old son's room and found him dead.
He had hanged himself.
Tyler had a form of autism and was constantly teased at school.
Since that day his parents have fought to make a change, but so far it's been a difficult battle.
"Here we are in the same position that we were in then and even before then and I don't know what its going to take to make a change," Tina says.
The Longs sued the Murray County School System; they believe school administrators ignored the situation. In March a federal judge dismissed the lawsuit, ruling there was not enough evidence to suggest Murray County Schools neglected to respond to bullying complaints.
"Oh, we're not going to stop. I mean just because a court says the schools aren't accountable, we still send our children there and I think parents still believe that they are responsible for the safety of their children," Tina explains.
The Longs filed an appeal if, for nothing else, to educate parents. "A school does not have custodial duty over our children, so therefore they have no constitutional duty to protect our kids," David says.
The Long's attorney, Winston Briggs, says the school system has 30 days to respond. Channel 3 contacted school administrators, however, our calls and emails were not returned.
Even co, the Longs don't have any plans to slow down. "My son is not going to come back and I know he's not, but if we can affect a change in our schools to help one kid and save another kid's life then that's our goal," David explains.
Briggs says it could be this time next year before a decision is made and if it doesn't go in the Long's favor they say they won't hesitate to take it to the Supreme Court.