A 14-year-old girl said she was assaulted by classmates on the Dublin High School campus in what may have been a racially motivated attack, and her parents are accusing the school district of a lax response.
The Dublin Police Department is investigating the Oct. 23 incident as a battery. The girl's parents, who are African American, want the attacker expelled. They say their daughter overheard students using the N-word and asked them to stop. An argument ensued, and the parents say it ended when a white student punched their daughter in the mouth, giving her a concussion.
"We don’t tolerate that behavior, and we take it seriously," school district spokesperson Michelle McDonald said. "And we absolutely go out of our way to make sure we correct that behavior in one form or another."
McDonald said the district can’t discuss specifics of the case because of student privacy. There could be a variety of punishments, she said, but expulsion is not one of them.
"Expulsion is a matter of the seriousness of the offense, whether this is the first time behavior, where this is a behavior that’s happened in the past," McDonlad said. "But expulsion is a very serious thing and rises to a high level when it comes to student discipline."
The victim’s parents said the boy who attacked their daughter received a three-day suspension. They said they waited for a week for a district respoonse before finally taking the case to Dublin police.
The school district released an official statement in response to the alleged attack:
"Behavior or statements that degrade an individual on the basis of his/her race, ethnicity, culture, heritage, gender, sexual orientation, physical/mental attributes, religious beliefs or practices are not tolerated in Dublin Schools.
"While we are unable to be specific about the details of any incident involving student discipline, the District and school leadership always look at appropriate corrections for students on a case-by-case basis.
"Disciplinary measures include suspension, mediation, Youth Court and detention in cases in which racial epithets are used. Our discipline policies on these matters follow both our District’s Board Policies and California Education Code.
"Dublin High has anti-bullying programs and activities in place and will continue to implement those throughout the school year."