NewsCovering Kern County


Parents in Arvin protest bullying at Arvin High School

The anti-bullying protest follows a viral video showing a special-needs student being bullied. Arvin High School says the behavior seen in the video will not be tolerated on campus.
Arvin High bullying protest
Posted at 6:30 PM, Oct 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-21 21:30:26-04

ARVIN, Calif. (KERO) — Community members from Arvin and around Kern County gathered at Arvin High School on Friday to demand change. They want the school to put a stop to bullying.

The parents gathered at AHS chanted “No more bullying!” and carried signs reading “Enough is Enough” and “Bullying is Not Okay.” They said they wanted answers.

Abe Santiago, the mother of the Arvin High student who was seen having his head shaved in a video that circulated on social media, was clear about what she wanted.

“What I ask for is that they stop the bullying, that there would be no more deaths, and that there would be justice,” said Santiago.

The video of Santiago’s son shows the boy wiping away tears as the children around him laughed at and teased him.

“They showed me the video, and I couldn’t believe it was my son,” said Santiago. “My son is a good person. He’s naive and all he wanted was to fit in with his peers, make friends. He just wanted what everyone else does. He just wanted to fit in with friends.”

Santiago told 23ABC that the school apologized for not calling her, but she says more needed to be done.

On Thursday, the school district said they would take the appropriate actions necessary to address the issue, and that the incident is under investigation.

After seeing the outpouring of community support standing by her side on Friday, Santiago says she is filled with thankfulness, as many are helping during this difficult time.

“I felt alone at first. I didn’t know what to do,” said Santiago. “But to see all of this support, they are supporting me in many ways and i appreciate it from the bottom of my heart. I don’t know who all of you are. I don’t know how to taking you one by one, because I don’t even have my mind in the right space.”