Teen Protests Bullying In Front Of Courthouse

Teen fed up with being bullied takes matters into her own hands

For the last two days, 13-year-old Katrina Villali, her father and brother have held a silent protest outside the county courthouse.

The signs speak for them.

Katrina said on February 24, 2012, seven fellow students, including boys and girls, jumped her on the playground of Curran Middle School.

"I got sent to the hospital because I blacked out and was in a lot of pain," said Katrina.

"The principal of the school didn't even call law enforcement. I had to force them to call law enforcement," said Katrina's father, Melvin Villali.

Katrina suffered cuts, bruises and a sprained neck and rotator cuff.

She now goes to physical therapy for her shoulder.

"Ever since that day I've been getting bullied," said Katrina.

Katrina said kids bully her at school, on Facebook and even show up at her house.

"Ever since I got jumped I've been afraid to go back to school," said Katrina.

"It hurts a lot. A parent doesn't want to see their kids get beat up by several kids. Fights are fights. One on one. Not seven on one. That's just uncalled for," said Melvin.

Melvin Vilalli said he discovered the following on one of the bully's Facebook pages: a plot to beat up Katrina and another student offering to record the attack.

Melvin said he went to the school district, Sheriff's Office and even the district attorney's office with the evidence and complaint.

"They didn't do anything except expel one girl and everyone else is still there," said Katrina.

New laws took effect this month strengthening existing anti-bullying school policies, expanding the definition of bullying to include postings on social media sites and enacting a timeline school officials must follow when investigating bullying.

But Melvin said that's not enough.

"And what happens? They suspend a kid for a day or two. That's it. And it keeps happening again. And people wonder why kids go to school with weapons and guns and shootings happen because of this reason," said Melvin.

So Katrina decided to take justice into her own hands.

Protesting with signs to tell her story.

"It was my idea. Because I want somebody to actually help me instead of me being at home and feeling bad," said Katrina.

She also wants to show that even kids can make a difference.

"All of us can probably get together and protest together and make something actually happen," said Katrina.

Curran Middle School is part of the Bakersfield City School District.

We contacted the district but no one would comment on Katrina's incident, citing student confidentiality policies.

They did say that they do have a no-tolerance policy when it comes to bullying.

The difficulty is in proving the incident, and punishment depends on the circumstances of the situation.

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