Mom demands action over bullying at California high school

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(NewsNation) — Weeks after a teenager killed herself in response to being bullied at school in New Jersey, a mom in California says the school district her daughter attends also failed to adequately address bullying.

Dominica Powell is demanding more action after she says her daughter, Addison, was brutally assaulted by a group of students at Bullard High School in Fresno, California. A video of the attack was posted online, and it shows Powell’s daughter being punched, dragged to the ground and kicked by another student.

In the video, no one tries to stop the fight. Instead, people can be heard cheering on the attacker. Addison is curled up in a ball on the ground with her hands over her head as the other student continues to punch and kick her.

“I’m gonna keep being happy and thankful that I have her here still with me, which is why I’m not gonna waste this opportunity and just let them continue to sweep things under the rug like they have been doing for years and years and years,” Powell said Wednesday on “CUOMO.” “I mean, our society is showing what the school system is pumping out.”

The incident follows one earlier this month across the country in New Jersey, in which 14-year-old Adriana Kuch died by suicide after an assault on her was also posted online. Four students have been criminally charged in that case, and the superintendent resigned.

Parents and students alleged at a Central Regional School District school board meeting that bullying has gone unchecked for years.

In California, the Fresno Unified School District said in a statement to Fox 26 that the school “responded quickly and handled the incident in accordance with our policies, the law, and the education code.”

“Parents of both parties were notified, and appropriate discipline has been rendered,” the statement said. “Appropriate social and emotional support is being provided and the school site is continuing to investigate to ensure the root of the problem is addressed to prevent any further altercations between the parties.”

Powell claims that’s not what happened.

“It gives me goosebumps because I feel like they weren’t going to do much and I had to force them to,” she said. “They basically tried to say that it was my daughter’s fault, that the attacker told them that (my daughter) was talking (bad about the attacker). Well, that’s the attacker’s story.”

Powell says the incident started when rumors spread that her daughter was spreading gossip about the student seen attacking her in the video. Four days later, the student approached Powell’s daughter at school and the fight ensued.

“It’s ground and pound; it’s like cage fighting,” Powell said in describing the video of the fight.

Terry Slatic is a former school board member in the Fresno district, and he says incidents like this happen on a weekly basis. He spoke about a case involving his own son, who he says received a death threat while attending high school.

“The first thing this school does is they drag my son in … to cross-examine him on ‘what did you do to make this happen,’ not the miscreant who wrote the doggone thing,” Slatic said. “It’s all blame the victim.”


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