Child sues California school district over alleged failure to protect him from repeated attacks by students

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LOS ANGELES — A child is suing the Claremont Unified School District, alleging district and school officials failed to protect him from unruly fellow intermediate school students who bullied and attacked him on campus this spring and forced his mother to withdraw him from the campus for his protection.

The Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit was brought on the minor’s behalf by his mother and it alleges assault and battery, dangerous condition of public property, negligent supervision and negligent hiring, training and retention. The plaintiff seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.

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A CUSD spokeswoman issued a statement regarding the complaint filed Sept. 11, stating that the district is aware of the suit.

“The district takes all allegations seriously and is committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of all our students,” the statement read. “District policy prioritizes the safety and security of all students and staff.”

The district cannot comment further on the case’s specifics because it is an ongoing legal matter, the statement further read.

The boy attended El Roble Intermediate School, and both the school and district had a duty to protect the plaintiff from bullying by other students while he was on campus, the suit states. The district knew that another student who attacked the plaintiff had a prior history that included stealing the plaintiff’s shoes, telling him he should die and threatening members of his Little League team, including the umpire, the suit states.

El Roble School also has an ongoing issue with students fighting and starting baseless rumors that other pupils spoke disparagingly about someone’s mother, sister or other family member in order to instigate a fight, the suit states.

At about 9 a.m. May 23, the plaintiff’s assailant accused the boy of speaking negatively about the attacker’s sister, prompting the plaintiff to try and ease the situation while other students laughed and began recording with their phones, the suit states.

The plaintiff’s assailant pushed the boy six times against a wall, punched him the face four times, put him in a headlock and wrestled him to the ground before pummeling him another four times, the suit states.

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