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Bullying becomes rampant at many secondary schools


Local girl dies following bathroom beating

The public education system has been under attack for years in different ways, and everybody involved has suffered. Whether it is the removal of funding to support school programs, lack of teachers, lack of proper education curriculum, school safety, and bullying/out-of-control kids, all have been factors in the decay of education in the US. 

Incidents within the The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) may illustrate what is happening in school districts across the nation. Over the last few years, LAUSD has dealt with a lot of lowlight moments involving parents protesting over the new LGBTQ+ classes introduced to the curriculum at all levels, which also led to clashes between protesters and supporters of LGBTQ+. Another instance involving LGBT+ and parents was a pride flag displayed out of a window at Saticoy Elementary School in North Hollywood, which was burned and considered arson by deputies. 

Several other reported incidents have involved students overdosing on campus, with some resulting in death. There have been numerous reports of planned school shootings, unsuspected kid deaths and kidnappings happening on school grounds late at night, and the never-ending reports of school fights and bullying. Unfortunately, school officials have yet to find a solution to any of these problems.

On Tuesday, March 20, it was reported that Manual Arts High School student Shaylee Mejia was pronounced dead at the hospital due to a fatal hemorrhage caused by brain injuries. She was rushed to the hospital by friends after fainting at a party the week prior and remained in the hospital unconscious for several days before being pronounced dead. Maria Juarez, the victim’s mother, has strong opinios to what caused her daughter’s death.

Juarez claims that the brain injuries are due to excessive bullying and fighting, as an altercation took place on March 5, with cell phone videos capturing Mejia and another girl fighting in the school’s bathroom with Mejia’s head hitting a toilet stall. Juarez stated that after enrolling Mejia in the school eight months ago, it didn’t take long for her to notice the bullying after her daughter started coming home with bruises not long after. 

She took photos of the injuries and reportedly complained to school officials and campus police but said nothing was done to address the issue. Her daughter continued being targeted by bullies at school, with several of the fights captured on cell phone video by the teen’s friends. The teen didn’t notify her mom of her recent fight because she didn’t want to cause worry, as Juarez is a single mom of two and worked as a housekeeper to provide for the family. The teen complained about severe headaches for several days but still attended school before her death a few weeks later.

Juarez presented all the videos of the March 5 fight to the school officials but claimed nothing was done to the perpetrators. She now blames the school for her daughter’s death. “Everybody knows about my daughter hitting her head, the teachers too,” Juarez said. “Everybody knows.”

The cause of her death remains under investigation. Detectives are investigating claims that she may have fallen down a flight of stairs that night at the party. 

Manual Arts High principal Alejandro Macias released a statement: “I am saddened to report the recent death of one of our students off campus. On behalf of our entire school community, I want to offer my deepest condolences to those who are impacted by this loss, including the student’s family, friends, and teachers. At this time, we request that the privacy of those who have been impacted be respected during this difficult time. Please know that our entire school community offers our support.”