Yucaipa-Calimesa School District is under fire yet again as it faces up to six lawsuits that allege negligence related to another bullying incident.
The plaintiff in this case is 15-year-old Savanna Blakkan, whose attack was captured on video by student cell phones as it happened. The video, which was captured from two angles, shows the moment where a fellow student physically attacks the young girl on campus.
Savanna was apparently punched, and the punch is said to have caused a concussion. But she said the harassment had begun much earlier that day, during her first and second periods. She said a girl kept taunting, pushing and provoking her.
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"She grabbed me from my back, my backpack," Savanna said.
Her attorney Brian Claypool also represents the family of Rosalee Avila and called the incident a classic case of bullying.
About a year and a half ago, 13-year-old Rosalee hanged herself after enduring months of bullying at the hands of fellow students at Mesa View Middle School.
Savanna's mother had reportedly notified school administrators about the ongoing problem with her daughter's attacker. After her mother reported the incident, the other girl who attacked her daughter was given only two days of suspension.
According to Claypool, the school district fosters a culture of bullying and fighting by under-staffing campuses with security and by ignoring pleas and complaints from parents like Savanna's mother.
Savanna's father, Anthony Perez, shared a tearful moment with his daughter Tuesday morning as they spoke to reporters.
"It's really painful to see your child have to endure something like this," said Perez.
Claypool revealed that Savanna had signed a "Suicide Contract" with her therapist a few days before the attack happened. The contract was a promise to refrain from taking her own life as she dealt with already existing emotional challenges.
Due to the constant bullying and the attack captured on video, Savanna said she has nightmares, barely eats or sleeps and has left Yucaipa High School permanently.
On Tuesday, June 25, Yucaipa-Calimesa Unified School District issued a statement regarding the incident:
“We take incidents of this nature extremely seriously, we responded according to our policies for student discipline, and have been working in cooperation with law enforcement."