North Georgia family sues school over alleged bullying and harassment of their daughter

A Dalton, Georgia, family is suing a religious school, claiming administrators ignored repeated complaints after the family found a notebook in their daughter's bag containing notes from a classmate asking if she could kill her daughter. the complaint says.

Mollie and Jason Surratt are seeking more than $3,000 in damages from Christian Heritage School and an unspecified amount to cover their daughter's legal fees and future medical costs. That's according to a complaint filed in Whitfield County Superior Court earlier this year.

“We wanted her to have a faith-based education,” Mollie Surratt said in a telephone interview with the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Mollie Surratt found “violent images of violence” and a list of kills in diary drawings made by a third-grader, as well as writings about the girls' sadness and disturbing writings of a sexual nature about her daughter, the complaint said.

When Mollie Surratt showed the writings and drawings to the girl's teacher, the teacher believed the girl may have been the victim of abuse in her own home, the complaint says, but no report was filed with law enforcement.

One of the drawings was of a female stick figure with her daughter's name above it and the question, “Can I kill her?” and an arrow pointing to the drawing, the complaint states.

However, the school said she did not break any rules.

“The defendants did not breach any contractual obligations,” the school’s response to the lawsuit states.

The Surratts claim Christian Heritage School failed to address repeated complaints from another student about bullying toward their daughter – who is not being named because she is a minor – when both girls were in third grade.

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The Surratts' daughter began attending Christian Heritage School, which serves grades kindergarten through 12, in kindergarten. Midway through third grade, Mollie Surratt said, she noticed changes in her daughter's behavior.

“I noticed she was pulling away and I noticed she was crying and didn't want to go to school and was begging me not to go to school,” Surratt said by phone. “I kept crying and asking, ‘What’s wrong? Why don't you want to go to school?' My gut feeling was that she was somehow unwell.

According to the Surratts' complaint filed by Reagan King, the family's attorney, their daughter began begging not to go to school, behavior that Mollie Surratt said was out of character.

The family then found a diary in their daughter's backpack that contained letters from another student in which she described her obsession with her daughter, the complaint says.

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“I think we were both just completely shocked because of the age,” Jason Surratt said in a phone interview. “The way the school handled it, it kind of felt like we were almost in a movie or something.”

According to the complaint, the Surratts' daughter continued to be bullied, harassed and even threatened by the student.

“My child feels like she did something wrong,” Mollie Surratt said, “because she ultimately told me openly what was going on.”

Harrison Kent, a spokesman for Christian Heritage School, which has 560 students, according to, had no comment and referred the Times Free Press to the school's attorney, who declined to comment.

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“No comment on pending litigation,” attorney Russell Britt of Hall Booth Smith told the Times Free Press.

In its response filed in court, Christian Heritage School disputed the claim that the Surratts emailed their daughter's teacher about a third student's TikTok video. In the video, which allegedly contained sexual comments about her daughter, the third-grader targeted her daughter wearing lewd outfits, performing lewd dances and cursing, according to the lawsuit.

According to the complaint, the Surratts are seeking $3,680.39 in compensatory damages and an additional unspecified amount to cover legal fees and future medical costs for their daughter's treatment due to the school's alleged negligence. In its response, the school denied the request and instead requested that the Surratts reimburse the school for legal fees.

The Surratts have now enrolled their daughter in public school. Mollie Surratt said she will not stop fighting for her daughter's right to speak out.

“It's very emotional and it's hard for us to talk about and we don't talk about it often,” Surratt said. “And I don’t want my child and other little girls and other young women to carry into their teenage years and into their adulthood the shame of speaking out and telling their truth.”

Contact La Shawn Pagán at or 423-757-6476. Follow her on Twitter @LaShawnPagan.