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Paul Mazzo v. Town of Fairfield Board of Education: August 20, 2013

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Superior Court of Connecticut.

Paul Mazzo v. Town of Fairfield Board of Education


— August 20, 2013



The defendants have moved to strike those portions of the plaintiffs’ second amended complaint which allege statutory negligence arising out of their alleged failure to comply with the anti-bullying statute, General Statutes § 10–222d et seq.   The plaintiffs, Paul Mazzo and Lorraine Mazzo, brought the present action both individually and on behalf of their daughter, K.M., alleging that K.M. was extensively bullied by another student, S.R., while attending Tomlinson Middle School, culminating in an attack on December 22, 2011, which left her seriously injured.   The defendants claim that the anti-bullying statute does not allow for a private cause of action.   For the reasons stated herein, the court agrees.

The plaintiffs filed a third amended complaint on July 15, 2013, the same day that the court took the papers on the present motion.1  The third amended complaint contains twenty-four counts against the Town of Fairfield Board of Education (negligence, statutory negligence, recklessness, liability pursuant to General Statutes § 10–235, liability pursuant to General Statutes § 7–465);  the Town of Fairfield (liability pursuant to General Statutes § 52–557n, liability pursuant to General Statutes § 7–465); 2  David Title, Superintendent of Schools for the Town of Fairfield (negligence, statutory negligence, recklessness);  Connee Dawson, Principal of Tomlinson Middle School (negligence, statutory negligence, recklessness);  Joshua Marko, Dean of Students at Tomlinson Middle School (negligence, statutory negligence, recklessness);  Vanessa Constanzo; 3  Janet Rainford (vicarious liability, negligence);  Vernon Rainford (vicarious liability, negligence) and S.R., ppa Janet Rainford (recklessness, assault and battery, negligent infliction of emotional distress, intentional infliction of emotional distress).   Title, Dawson, Marko and the Town of Fairfield Board of Education (henceforth defendants) move to strike counts two, four, six and eight of the second revised complaint, which are now counts two, five, eight and eleven of the third revised complaint.   These counts allege that the defendants are liable for negligence for their failure to comply with the anti-bullying statute, General Statutes § 10–222d et seq.   The defendants argue in their memorandum in support that the anti-bullying statute does not allow for a private cause of action.   The plaintiffs argue in their memorandum in opposition that it does so by implication as revised in 2011.   The plaintiffs also submitted a copy of the 2011 bill showing the changes, a question and answer sheet entitled “Bullying Harassment in Connecticut,” which does not clearly indicate its source, and a transcript of the Senate debate on the bill.


“The proper method to challenge the legal sufficiency of a complaint is to make a motion to strike prior to trial.”  Gulack v. Gulack, 30 Conn.App. 305, 309, 620 A.2d 181 (1993).   In Asylum Hill Problem Solving Revitalization Assn. v. King, 277 Conn. 238, 245–46, 890 A.2d 522 (2006), the Supreme Court upheld a trial court’s determination on a motion to strike that a statute did not create a private cause of action.

The defendants argue that the anti-bullying statute does not create a private cause of action because it lacks an explicit statement that it does so and there is a presumption that private causes of action do not exist unless expressly stated.   The plaintiffs argue that in amending the anti-bullying statute in 2011 the legislature added a private cause of action.

“[W]e begin our analysis with the well settled fundamental premise that there exists a presumption in Connecticut that private enforcement does not exist unless expressly provided in a statute.   In order to overcome that presumption, the [plaintiff bears] the burden of demonstrating that such an action is created implicitly in the statute ․ In determining whether a private remedy is implicit in a statute not expressly providing one, several factors are relevant.   First, is the plaintiff one of the class for whose ․ benefit the statute was enacted ․ ? Second, is there any indication of legislative intent, explicit or implicit, either to create such a remedy or to deny one?  ․ Third, is it consistent with the underlying purposes of the legislative scheme to imply such a remedy for the plaintiff?”  Perez–Dickson v. Bridgeport, 304 Conn. 483, 506–07, 43 A.3d 69 (2012), citing Gerardi v. Bridgeport, 294 Conn. 461, 468–69, 985 A.2d 328 (2010);  see also Napoletano v. CIGNA Healthcare of Connecticut, Inc., 238 Conn. 216, 249, 680 A.2d 127 (1996) (source of factors, referred to as the Napoletano factors), cert. denied, 520 U.S. 1103, 117 S.Ct. 1106, 137 L.Ed.2d 308 (1997), overruled on other grounds by Batte–Holmgren v. Commissioner of Public Health, 281 Conn. 277, 284, 914 A.2d 996 (2007).  “[T]he [plaintiffs] must meet the threshold showing that none of the three factors weighs against recognizing a private right of action ․ The stringency of the test is reflected in the fact that, since this court decided Napoletano, we have not recognized an implied cause of action despite numerous requests.”  (Internal quotation marks omitted.)   Gerardi v. Bridgeport, supra, 294 Conn. 469–70.

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As Lawmakers Target Cyberspace Bullies, public awareness is needed on Cyberpsychology

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Posted by Maria Mangicaro
Bullying Prevention Advocate


Fascinating New Cyberbullying Research

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I like to post about interesting new studies that are relevant for parents of teens and tweens. A study that just came out called, “Are cyberbullies less empathic? Adolescents’ cyberbullying behavior and empathic responsiveness” in the Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking journal addressed some new advances in cyberbullying.

Here are the two important findings:

  • This study found that cyberbullies demonstrated less empathic responsiveness than non-cyberbullies.
  • This study also found that cyberbullies were also more afraid of becoming victims of cyberbullying. 

The findings confirm and substantially extend the research on the relationship between empathy and aggressive behavior. What does this mean for parents, adults and teachers who work with teens and tweens? We must invest more time and energy into training young people in their empathy skills. Second, we also have to address fear in cyberbullies themselves. This is an interesting parellel to bullying–school yard bullies are often mean to others so that no one is mean to them.

I believe we have to teach EmoSocial intelligence in schools which is a combination of empathy training with emotional and social intelligence. It is a person’s ability to identify, assess, and control the emotions of oneself and then be able to effectively interact, maintain and build relationships with others.

Teaching social literacy involves teaching young people communication and social skills, as well as showing them how to effectively and purposefully mediate their interactions with family members, friends and colleagues in the school or business environment. Some of examples of social literacy issues might include lack of eye contact, understanding angry feelings versus fear or being able to deal successfully with confrontation.

– See more at:



From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The developing field of cyberpsychology encompasses all psychological phenomena that are associated with or affected by emerging technologyCyber comes from the word cybernetics, the study of the operation of control and communication; psychology is the study of the mind and behavior. Cyberpsychology is the study of the human mind and its behavior in the context of human interaction and communication of both man and machine, further expanding its bounds with the culture of computers and virtual reality that take place on the internet.[1] However, mainstream research studies seem to focus on the effect of the Internet and cyberspace on the psychology of individuals and groups. Some hot topics include: online identityonline relationships, personality types in cyberspace, transference to computers, addiction to computers and Internet, regressive behavior in cyberspace, online gender-switching, etc. Media Psychology is an emerging specialty and The Society for Media Psychology and Technology of the American Psychological Association, i.e., APA division 46 counts many psychologists working in this field among its members. In addition, the first MA/Ph.D program and Ed.D program in Media Psychology and Media Studies was launched by Bernard Luskin at Fielding Graduate University in 2002, now followed by an increasing number of new courses and programs in media psychology and media studies.

While statistical and theoretical research in this field is based around Internet usage, cyberpsychology also includes the study of the psychological ramifications of cyborgsartificial intelligence, and virtual reality amongst other things. Although some of these topics may appear to be the stuff of science fiction, they are quickly becoming science fact as evidenced byinterdisciplinary approaches involving the fields of biologyengineering, and mathematics. The field of cyberpsychology remains open to refinement as well as new purposes including inquiry into the nature of current and future trends in mental illness associated with technological advances.

It was around the turn of the millennium that people in the United States broke the 50 percent mark in Internet use, personal computer use, and cell phone use. With such a broad exposure to computers and their displays, our perceptions go beyond objects and images in our natural environment and now includes the graphics and images on the computer screen. As the overlaps between man and machine expand, the relevance of Human-computer interaction (HCI) research within the field of cyberpsychology will become more visible and necessary in understanding the current modern lifestyles of many people. With the rising number of internet and computer users around the world, it is evident that computer technology’s effects on the human psyche will continue to significantly shape both our interactions with each other and our perceptions of the world that is literally “at our fingertips.”  Click here to read more.


The ‘Cyberpsychology: Journal of Psychosocial Research on Cyberspace‘ is a web-based, peer-reviewed scholarly journal. The first peer-reviewed issue was published in September 2007. The journal is focussed on social science research about cyberspace. It brings psychosocial reflections of the impact of the Internet on people and society. The journal is interdisciplinary, publishing works written by scholars of psychology, media studies, sociology, political science, nursing, and also other disciplines.  Click here to visit the website.

Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking is the essential, peer-reviewed journal for understanding the social and psychological impact of today’s social networking practices. Highly regarded as the go-to source in the field, the Journal has followed the trend of social networking and virtual reality for the past 15 years. It is known for its rapid communication articles and in-depth studies surrounding the effects of interactive technologies on behavior and society, both positive and negative.

Extreme Bullying: Florida bullies take the life of their victim

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Posted By Maria Mangicaro
Bullying Prevention Advocate

TEXT MESSAGE LURES VICTIM TO HOME staff and news service reports
updated 4/21/2011 10:57:02 AM ET

SUMMERFIELD, Florida — When Seath Tyler Jackson received a text message Sunday afternoon from a 15-year-old ex-girlfriend saying she wanted to rekindle their romance and that they should meet at a central Florida house, a female friend of Jackson’s sensed something wasn’t right.

“I wouldn’t fall for that,” 16-year-old Brittnay Jones told Jackson, she recalled to The Associated Press.

The 15-year-old Jackson ignored his friend’s advice and went Sunday to a house in Summerfield, northwest of Orlando.

There, authorities said, he was fatally beaten and shot as a result of a plot to lure him there and kill him. Then, Jackson’s body was stuffed into a sleeping bag and burned, and the remains were put in paint buckets and dumped at a remote lime rock pit, authorities allege.

Marion County sheriff’s investigators said the way the defendants carried out the crime was unlike anything they had ever seen.

“Our detectives — seasoned detectives — shook their heads in disbelief because this type of first-degree murder is unimaginable,” The Orlando Sentinel quoted sheriff’s department spokesman Judge Cochran as saying.

Authorities on Tuesday night arrested six people in connection with the crime, charging five with first-degree murder. The five were being held without bond.

Criminalizing Bullying: Can the Paparazzi be found guilty of bullying?

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Posted by Maria Mangicaro
Bullying Prevention Advocate

Kristen Stewart Bullied Over Robert Pattinson Break-Up By Paparazzi

Published on Jul 10, 2013
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The paparazzi went too far earlier this week, bullying Kristen Stewart over her break-up with Robert Pattinson. Upon returning to her dusty blue pick-up truck in a North Hollywood parking lot, K-stew was greeted by giggling paparazzi. The kicker here, is that someone, perhaps the looming paps, wrote I heart Rob in the dust on the hood of her car. Upon leaving the parking lot, Kristen did fire back with some angry remarks of her own, but this obviously came after some very cruel mocking from the paparazzi. To make matters worse, Us Weekly reports that Kristen previously shared the blue pickup with her ex-boyfriend. Kudos to Kristen, who overall, has maintained her poise in the face of overwhelming media attention over the last few years, especially in regards to her relationship with R-Pattz. The pair, who allegedly split for good back in May, both remain busy. Rob has reportedly moved on, and has since been linked to various ladies, including Riley Keough. Kristen is staying busy, and is currently working on two new movies, Camp X-Ray and Sils Maria, which will also star Chloe Mortez. So what do you guys think about this cruel and unnecessary prank played on Kristen Stewart? Hasn’t she already been through enough? Give us your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below. We here at ClevverTV are obviously totally team Kristen Stewart. For more entertainment news as it breaks, keep it locked right here by subscribing to our channel on YouTube. I’m Joslyn Davis — and we’ll catch ya later.

For More Clevver Visit:

Published on Aug 5, 2013
Kristen Stewart hides behind a gate, as she curses off a paparazzo.

Published on Nov 15, 2013

Just hours after confronting one Fox 5 reporter in Manhattan, Alec Baldwin loaded up his car and unloaded on yet another Fox 5 reporter Friday afternoon.

Baldwin told Linda Schmidt to “get the [expletive] out of here” after confronting her and demanding an apology. He falsely accused her of almost hitting his wife with a microphone.

“I asked you a question: You want to apologize to her?” he yelled. He then told a uniformed cop that he wanted to press charges against “that blonde.”

Earlier in the day, the actor walked up to Fox 5 reporter Robert Moses and warned him to leave the sidewalk in front of his building (CLICK FOR VIDEO).

Baldwin later issued a statement on the website of MSNBC, the network that carries his weekly talk show, apologizing to his fans and colleagues. MSNBC pulled Baldwin’s show, “Up Late,” from its schedule for two weeks.

“I did not intend to hurt or offend anyone with my choice of words, but clearly I have — and for that I am deeply sorry,” Baldwin said in the statement. “Words are important. I understand that, and will choose mine with great care going forward. What I said and did this week, as I was trying to protect my family, was offensive and unacceptable. Behavior like this undermines hard-fought rights that I vigorously support.”

Baldwin was likely referring to the expletives he yelled at a photographer this week. He did not specifically reference the incidents with Fox 5’s Moses and Schmidt.

Moses and Schmidt have been covering the trial of Canadian actress Genevieve Sabourin, who was accused and then convicted this week of stalking Baldwin and his wife. Baldwin and the office of Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. said it was a case of an acquaintance with a movie star turning into harassment. Sabourin claimed it was a romance that fell apart.

A judge sentenced Sabourin to 195 days in jail for stalking the Baldwins. That sentence came on top a 30-day contempt of court sentence he handed down Wednesday because she kept disrupting the court proceedings with outbursts.

Read more:…
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Bullying, Abuse and Torture of Special Needs Children: Footage of Judge Rotenberg Center (Graphic)

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Posted by Maria Mangicaro
Bullying Prevention Advocate

Published on Apr 10, 2012
Photosensitive epilepsy warning. Also, graphic and disturbing footage. Sign the petition from a former staff member:…

Take a look at my blog, where I write about disability and autism issues:

Latest news article:…

For an article from a liberal and progressive news site on the Judge Rotenberg Center (for everyone upset because it’s Fox), see…

Original news article at…

This is NOT electrostatic or electroconvulsive therapy used for some mental disabilities such as depression or bipolar disorder. This is electric SHOCK used as a punishment.

Andre was asked to take off his jacket. When he refused, staff electric shocked him and he tried to hide under a table. They dragged him out and tied him facedown to a restraint board where he was kept for seven hours without a break, and shocked a total of thirty-one times. In court, it was admitted that all but one of those electric shocks were for tensing up or screaming.

If you are horrified, disgusted, and sickened by what you just watched, please contact the members of the Massachusetts Joint Committee on Children, Families, and Persons with Disabilities. There are four bills currently assigned to that committee that target the JRC. Read more about the bills (and see links to their full text) here:…

The Senate Chair is Michael Rodrigues.
Phone: 617-722-1114

The House Chair is Kay Khan.
Phone: 617-722-2011

Call and email and let the members of the Committee know that you support S. 49, S. 50, S. 51, and H. 77. Urge them to report those bills favorably from committee.

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Ohio: Teacher Caught On Tape Bullying Special Needs Students

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Posted by Maria Mangicaro
Bullying Prevention Advocate

Uploaded on Nov 17, 2011

There are good teachers out there that should spend more time marching against bad teachers instead of those that would like to rein in bad teachers. Is the only advocates for the children hidden microphones and video cameras?

Related Stories:

Teachers caught on tape bullying special-needs girl:  Parents sent her to school wearing hidden recording device: ‘We were shocked’

Couple bug Ohio student to hear teacher bullying:  By KANTELE FRANKONovember 16, 2011 11:15 PM