SAN JOSE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The law firm of Corsiglia, McMahon & Allard has filed a lawsuit against the Gilroy Unified School District (Santa Clara County Superior Court, Case 23CV418646) alleging that school officials were negligent in their failure to protect students on school grounds from criminal assaults.
Filed on behalf of former student Jane Doe, the lawsuit claims that the parents of Doe twice warned Solorsano Middle School officials of physical threats made to their daughter. Shortly thereafter, in January of 2023, the lawsuit claims that the student making the threats followed through. In a cell phone video of the assault uploaded to Snapchat and Instagram, the assailant student is seen walking up behind the victim with her friends following and taunting the victim.
The assailant then grabs the victim’s hair from behind and violently pulls her to the ground where the victim is then kicked and beaten. At no time during this school assault is there a Solorsano Middle School official to be seen. The victim ended up in the hospital with a concussion.
The parents, fearing that the school was unable to protect their daughter, removed her from school and at their expense, placed her in a private school.
The lawsuit states that the California Education Code specifically states that school officials have a duty to protect kids. In this case, the lawsuit claims that Solorsano Middle School officials failed to take such threats of physical assault seriously leading to the assault.
“School violence is real and getting worse,” attorney Mark Boskovich said. “Unchecked, it can have devastating and deadly consequences.” Boskovich represented the parents of Audrie Pott, the Saratoga teenager who committed suicide after being bullied following a sexual assault.
The National Center for Education reports that more than one in four middle school students report being bullied at school. And nearly 15% of middle school students report that they were targets of physical threats or assaults on school grounds.
“Gilroy school officials are quite aware of the bullying and assault problem,” Boskovich said.
The California Healthy Kids Survey reported that 37% of Gilroy 7th graders are victims of bullying and 16% had been in a physical fight. And nearly 30% of Gilroy 7th graders reported being pushed, shoved, slapped, hit or kicked at least once. In summary, the report found that seventh graders report the highest rates of harassment and victimization, as well as participation in a physical fight and seeing a weapon on campus. “This lawsuit is intended to address the problem so that students can have a safe learning environment,” Boskovich stated.