Los Angeles School District was sentenced to pay $ 1 million to student pushed to self-harm after bullies threatened to kill her

Los Angeles School District was sentenced to pay $ 1 million to student pushed to self-harm after bullies threatened to kill her

Los Angeles School District was sentenced to pay $ 1 million to student pushed to self-harm after bullies threatened to kill her

A Los Angeles school district was sentenced to pay $ 1 million in damages to a student after she failed to adequately address the actions of her bullies for nearly a year.

A Los Angeles County Superior Court jury ruled last week that the El Segundo Unified School District showed negligence in the way its staff were trained and supervised and that it had detrimental effects on Eleri Irons. Ms. Irons attended El Segundo Middle School when the bullying started when she was 13, according to legal documentation.

A lawsuit in April 2019 accuses the district of failing to protect and advise the student while she was “bully, harassed and verbally assaulted” by three fellow students between November 2017 and June 2018, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The lawsuit claims that a student has started a petition titled “Kill Eleri Irons”. The teachers discovered the petition but did not inform Ms. Irons’ parents of the situation, the lawsuit claims.

Ms. Irons, who suffered “significant physical and psychological trauma” according to the cause, is now 18 years old.

Attorney Christa Ramey said in a statement that her client “suffered from PTSD, cut herself and sought refuge in the school nurse’s office almost every lunch break.”

He added that school officials “dismissed his parents’ concerns” as a drama about a teenage love triangle. “

“Every teacher, counselor and administrator who has touched on this case has disappointed not only my client, but also the attackers and every other student at the school,” said Ms. Ramey. “Bullying must be taken seriously and administrators are guilty when they don’t stop it.”

Melissa Moore, superintendent of El Secondo schools, said the school district has established two student safety assistant roles in two schools and that a safety plan has been enacted in all schools, according to a statement shared with The independent.

An external security assessment also provided recommendations to the district, such as creating an app where students can submit school safety reports, as well as training employees on behavioral threat assessment measures, Dr. Moore added.

Dr Moore said, “As a school district, we respect the court ruling and acknowledge the results of the lawsuit.”

“The next steps are up to our legal advisor. As we move forward, we are committed to improving ourselves and doing everything we can to prevent bullying in our schools, ”he added.

Ms. Ramey accused Melissa Gooden, the former school principal and current executive director of human resources for the district, of falsely claiming that she contacted the police when she was informed of the death threat against Ms. Irons on June 13, 2018.

Ms. Irons’ father called Ms. Gooden on that date, telling her he was angry that the school hadn’t told him about the petition, Ms. Ramey said. The father allegedly told Ms Gooden that he would visit the school the next day to speak with Ms Gooden.

Police said they were called on June 14, just minutes before meeting with Ms. Irons’ parents began, Ms. Ramey said.

“He didn’t call the police that day. He tried to make it look like they did everything they could, but in reality, during the whole year, they did nothing, “Ramey said.” They never investigated a single bullying statement made by my client. “

The independent attempted to contact Ms Gooden for comment.

Ms. Ramey said the police looked into the petition but found no credible threat.

This was revealed by the El Secondo police department LA Times that a criminal threat complaint was filed on 14 June 2018.

Two police officers interviewed Ms. Irons and her father. She told police about her petition that she was demanding the death of her daughter and that the student who created her was asking for signatures at lunch.

The police report shared with the LA Times revealed that the student requesting the signatures and another student who signed the petition had been suspended.

In a press release, Ms Irons said that while she was traumatized by the events, she forgives the main perpetrator of the bullying.

“I am so grateful that I was able to share my experience and that I am actually taken seriously so that the next time a child asks for help, the school will deal with it as it should have for me,” she said.

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