'Unbelievable how cruel it all has been': Civil lawsuit alleges B.C. private school didn’t stop bullying
VANCOUVER -- She sent her daughter to Crofton House, an elite all-girls private school in Vancouver, thinking it would be a great learning environment for Grade 6. But mom Natalie Boll says a bully soon began tormenting the 11-year-old.
"I don’t know why this particular girl started to target on my daughter, and at that time it was extremely hurtful and it spread so fast," said Boll. "Of course I went to the school right away."
Boll – whose allegations are detailed in a lawsuit filed in B.C. Supreme Court this week – says the bully wasn’t reprimanded by administrators at Crofton House, and soon other girls started harassing her daughter in the hallways and online.
"It became almost like the culture of the school that my daughter was OK to bully," said Boll. "It was everything from nobody likes you at Crofton House, nobody wants you here, you're ugly, you're fat, you’re a loser, to things like you should kill yourself and drink bleach."
This past September, at the beginning of Grade 8, the now-13-year-old was hospitalized after a classmate gave her Xanax to help with her anxiety.
"When they removed her clothing they found that she's been cutting herself," her mother recounted through tears. "And they asked if she was suicidal, and she said yes."
Boll says a doctor suggested she withdraw her daughter from Crofton House, which she did. Her civil lawsuit alleges administrators did nothing to stop the bullying that happened on school property.
"I wanted the school to be accountable for allowing this to basically grow within their school, without curtailing it," said Boll.
The school has yet to file a formal statement of defence in response to the lawsuit. In an email to CTV News, the school said in part: "Crofton House School does not agree with the characterization of events as portrayed in the lawsuit and will provide a robust legal defence of the allegations."
It goes on to say: "While the School cannot share information on specific incidents, investigations, or members of our community, the concerns raised were thoroughly investigated, including working with our Vancouver Police Department liaison officer, and where warranted, actions were taken in line with our Code of Conduct."
Boll says her daughter, who is now attending Grade 8 in a different school, simply wants an apology and an acknowledgment that what happened to her at Crofton House was wrong.
"It’s unbelievable how cruel it all has been," she said.
Read the full statement from Crofton House below.