KHSD urges Kern Co. Board of Education to take action in case involving an Independence HS student

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - Court documents in the case of an Independence High School student assaulted in a bathroom calls for an appeal to the nearly $1.5 million dollar settlement reached in the case, but the Kern High School District Board disapproves of the move.

KHSD leaders are asking the Kern County Board of Education to take action in holding the Self-Insured Schools of California (SISC) accountable for its recent action they call shocking and sad.

Since the beginning, Chad Vegas has admitted to mistakes made hours following the 2009 highly publicized assault on an autistic student at Independence High School.

"Kern High School District is not denying liability.  KHSD is claiming liability. We take responsibility for that," said board president, Chad Vegas.

SISC has directed the legal effort in the case.  Last week, the group was instructed to reach a reasonable and fair settlement, but to KHSD’s surprise went against their direction.   Now, leaders are asking the board of education superintendent to hold the company accountable.

"I would like her to fire everybody involved, everybody who made a call that Kern High School District board of trustees would not be notified of the $225,000 settlement offer from the judge," he said.

Superintendent Doctor Christine Frazier says the board does not employ SISC and is not authorize to fire anyone, but family members of the victim disagree. 

"She does have the authority, everything on the website, consulting with other attorneys; they do have the authority to fire SISC. They have dealt with it unprofessionally.  They felt that my daughter, because she doesn't speak normally that they could cover this up," said a family member.

Doctor Frazier says the appeal was filed to consider continuing the case, but a final decision has not been made.

“What happened in those rest rooms calls for action in terms of making sure that your daughter receives the services she needs so that she can have a spiritual and healthy healing,” Frazier told family members of the victim.

Over the last four years, the district has taken steps to clean up the Special Ed Department including revamping the program, which they did this summer.


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