Teen's Family Sues Middle School After Bullying

In a high-tech cry for help, a West Islip, N.Y., teen took his long battle with school bullies to the Internet after he said his life was threatened. But he and his parents say the school has done nothing and they are now suing.

Patrick Kohlmann, 13, said the violence got so bad, he was afraid to go to Udall Road Middle School.

"I'd be picked on, pushed and kicked," Kohlmann told "Good Morning America." "They said they wanted to kill me."

"Bullying is torture, it is daily [and] it goes on for years," said Michael Bradley, a psychologist who specialiszes in adolescent behavior. "It is a systematic way of breaking down a human being and it is very damaging."


"I felt upset so I told my parents and the administrators at the school," Kohlmann said.

Despite the boy's pleas, administrators at the school did little to stop the attacks, Patrick and his mother, Beth Kohlmann, said.

"I've complained to [the school] numerous times and it's usually, 'Well, we'll look into that,'" Beth said at a recent news conference. "That's not an appropriate answer to have."

Frustrated with what he felt was inaction by the school's administrators, Patrick created a seven-minute video montage of photos and music, urging other teens to stop violent behavior. After he posted it on YouTube, it gained attention, attracting more than 15,000 viewers.

"It's a beautiful movie," Bradley said. "There's so much bullying on the internet and [Patrick] took the jerk's weapons and turned it against them."

School officials defended their response to the Kohlmann's complaints in a six-page written statement.

"No situation brought to our attention by either Patrick or his family has ever been ignored," the statement said. The school statement also said that administrators plan to share the video Patrick made with the district's teachers next school year.

Bradley recommends that, in the case of bullying, schools don't try to mediate the situation with the students together. Instead, it is best to rally the attitude of the entire school against violent behavior, he said.

"Sitting the two of them down doesn't work. It's one of the typical myths," Bradley told "Good Morning America." "What works is going to the bystanders. Think of a community -- change the community, the violence goes away."

Bradley also advised parents against telling their children to fight back against the bullies.

"Parents often feel so helpless. We push kids away by saying, 'Punch them in the face!'" Bradley said. "That's like me fighting Mike Tyson -- it's crazy. They are outmatched. The best thing to do: Love them. Let them cry and go to the school and say, 'We have to do something about this.' "

Kohlmann and his parents are hoping to spark action with their pending legal case, but in the meantime, they say they are pleased that his video is making people notice a disturbing problem.