ARVIN, Calif. (KERO) — After a video of an Arvin High School student getting his head shaved as he wiped away tears went viral on social media last week, Arvin parents gathered at the school to protest bullying. Now, the family is receiving threats, and the bullied student has switched to online instruction, afraid to go to school where he might run into his bullies again.
Attorney Daniel Rodriguez, President of Rodriguez & Associates Trial Lawyers, poses some very sharp questions about how the events caught on tape were allowed to happen.
“When there’s unwanted touching of somebody, physical touching, it’s called a battery,” said Rodriguez. “Here they were ‘giving him a haircut,’ which they weren’t. They were hurting him.”
Rodriguez is also critical of how the school enforces their policy about bringing dangerous objects onto campus.
“Yes, and how did they get that (the clippers) into school? That’s another question, right?” asked Rodriguez. “So doing that, and then other kids joining grab the clippers, and they start in digging into his scalp, and he starts to cry.”
Attorney Danay Gonzales of Rodriguez & Associates, a second attorney in the case, remembers how the school failed to inform the bullied student’s mother in a timely fashion.
“Unfortunately, the school did not call the mom. She found out about it from her sister,” said Gonzales. “Her sister saw online just like most of the world found out, all at once.”
The bullying incident caused outrage in the community, with parents and supporters turning out to protest the school in person.
According to the family’s lawyers, the bullied student and his family are now getting threats not just on social media, but even in their local grocery store.
“She was at a grocery store, someone was making comments to her daughter about the situation, calling her son bad names and threatening him, and it really freaked her out,” said Gonzales. “She just wants what’s best for her son.”
One of the changes the family has made in the student’s best interest is transitioning him to fully online learning, something the school district is legally obligated to facilitate.
“The school district by law has an obligation, a duty. Their job, their responsibility, and this bullying happened under their nose, and they let it happen,” said Rodriguez.
23ABC contacted Kern High School District and received no response, but the last statement KHSD gave on this matter said they are unable to comment on personnel matters or about whether any staff members may have been placed on leave following this incident.
Rodriguez says the family will most likely file a government tort claim against the school within six months, followed by a formal lawsuit.