Yucaipa-Calimesa School District Responds to Bullying Lawsuits

Two weeks ago, CalSchoolNews reported on six lawsuits filed against the Yucaipa-Calimesa Joint Unified School District for its alleged role in fostering an environment plagued by bullying. On Monday, the district chose to respond.

In a statement released by the district’s attorney, school officials outlined general best practices for parents. The statement does not use the word “bullying,” nor does it respond directly to claims made in the June 25 lawsuit filed by Pasadena lawyer Brian Claypool...

Yucaipa Calimesa “is dedicated to putting its students first,” according to a statement released Monday by Matthew Soleimanpour, a La Jolla-based attorney representing the district.

“Promoting student wellness and academic achievement is the focus of our mission statement: to foster a positive environment for our students in taking the next step in their development, both in the classroom and in their personal lives,” the statement continues.

In the statement, the district points to the “complexities of our ever-changing social climate, particularly due to the changing dynamics of student interaction on social media via platforms such as Instagram, SnapChat, and Facebook.” The statement notes that “parental involvement and engagement in their children’s lives” is the “only way” to support the district’s efforts to “support student development.” — Riverside Press-Enterprise

The statement also encourages parents to contact police when necessary, including through the anonymous “We-Tip Hotline” at 800-78-CRIME. The district plans to host a seminar for parents as well.

Freddie Avila, whose 13-year-old daughter committed suicide after enduring bullying at Mesa View Middle School, says the district is trying to distance itself from blame.

“They’re working so hard to make sure the word ‘bullying’ never gets associated with their school instead of protecting their kids,” he said.

“How many kids have to die or suffer over them not taking bullying seriously?”


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