Family demands district take further action after 14-year-old attacked in school bathroom
The family of an Allentown High School student is demanding the district take action after their daughter was allegedly assaulted by another student. The family says that the Upper Freehold School District is trying to sweep this incident under the rug.
Rebecca Diaz called News 12 New Jersey for help regarding the Nov. 22 incident. The assault involving her 14-year-old daughter was caught on camera.
The alleged attacker is seen punching Diaz’s daughter and knocking her to the ground. The assault continues until a teacher breaks it up. Other students just stood by and recorded the assault, according to Diaz.
“When she sent us the video, I was shocked. I started crying,” Diaz says.
Now the family says the alleged attacker is back in class and the school isn’t doing anything to protect their daughter.
“I reached out to you guys to bring it to the light and stop the violence. It's supposed to be zero tolerance, and I don't think they are following that protocol,” says Diaz.
Both teens are freshmen at Allentown High School. Diaz's daughter can be heard in the video trying to peacefully remove herself from the situation before it got violent.
"I feel the school should have taken the proper steps and say, ‘This isn't going to be tolerated,’ and send the message, ‘If this happens, you will be expelled from school,’” Diaz says.
Diaz says her daughter suffered a concussion. She filed a report with New Jersey State Police on the day the assault occurred.
A spokesperson for the state police wrote in a statement, "After working with the school administration and communicating with the parents of the students involved, no charges were filed, and it was determined that the school would be handling the matter internally.”
The Diaz family also filed a Harassment Intimidation Bullying (HIB) report, but the district said that the report was unfounded. Diaz says that district officials told her in a letter that while the assault wasn't considered bullying, the other student violated the school code of conduct and was disciplined.
The Upper Freehold School superintendent told News 12 in a statement, “Although I am unable to comment about this specific incident due to student privacy laws, please know that all situations like this are dealt with quickly and thoroughly in accordance with the student code of conduct."
Diaz says that the alleged attacker is back in school and walking the halls around her terrified daughter.
“No one can really reassure me that my daughter will be safe there - especially with this other student back at the school,” Diaz says.
Police have told Diaz that she can press charges against the alleged attacker if she would like. But Diaz tells News 12 that she thinks it is up to the school district or state police to do more.