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Claremont Unified School District sued by child for alleged attacks by other students

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A child is suing the Claremont Unified School District, alleging district and school officials failed to protect him from unruly fellow intermediate school students who bullied and attacked him on campus this spring and forced his mother to withdraw him from the campus for his protection.

The Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit was brought on the minor's behalf by his mother and it alleges assault and battery, dangerous condition of public property, negligent supervision and negligent hiring, training and retention. The plaintiff seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.

The boy attended El Roble Intermediate School. The lawsuit states both the school and district had a duty to protect the plaintiff from bullying by other students while he was on campus. The district knew the other student had a prior history that included stealing the plaintiff's shoes, telling him he should die and threatening members of his Little League team, including the umpire, the suit states.

A CUSD spokeswoman issued a statement regarding the complaint filed Sept. 11, stating that the district is aware of the suit.

"The district takes all allegations seriously and is committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of all our students," the statement read. "District policy prioritizes the safety and security of all students and staff."

The district cannot comment further on the case's specifics because it is an ongoing legal matter, the statement further read.

The lawsuit also states El Roble School has an ongoing issue with students fighting and starting baseless rumors that other pupils spoke disparagingly about someone's mother, sister or other family member in order to instigate a fight.

According to the suit, at about 9 a.m. on May 23, the plaintiff's assailant accused the boy of speaking negatively about the attacker's sister, prompting the plaintiff to try and ease the situation while other students laughed and began recording with their phones.

The plaintiff's assailant pushed the boy six times against a wall, punched him the face four times, put him in a headlock and wrestled him to the ground before pummeling him another four times, the suit states.

School staff members were "nowhere to be found," according to the suit, which further states that on that same day, three other boys tried to jump the plaintiff and the school employees did not call the plaintiff's mother.

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Although the initial attacker was suspended for a week, no other steps were taken to protect the plaintiff, who had three classes with the other student, or against the other three students who attempted to attack him, the suit states.

Three days later, a fifth student used one of his shoulders to bump the plaintiff in a hallway and that child also was not disciplined, the suit alleges.

The plaintiff's mother contacted the school many times requesting a plan to keep her son safe at school, but she was ignored and she ultimately withdrew him from the school in his eighth grade year, the suit states. Some other parents have withheld their children from classes at El Roble School and the negative atmosphere has had a negative impact on the quality of education because good students are afraid of unwarranted attacks, according to the suit.

The plaintiff's health has been negatively impacted along with his emotional state as he has suffered fright, nightmares, grief, worry and shock.

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