Administrators at a downtown San Diego charter high school didn’t do enough to stop the bullying and harassment of a 14-year-old student who committed suicide, the boy’s mother alleged Wednesday.
Zulema Guzman, whose son German took his own life at home last Nov. 16, spoke to reporters about the wrongful death lawsuit filed on her behalf Tuesday in San Diego Superior Court, naming King-Chavez Academy of Excellence Corp. and the San Diego Unified School District as defendants.
Zulema Guzman said fellow students at King-Chavez harassed, verbally bullied, cyber-bullied and taunted her son because they thought he was gay. Her lawsuit alleges school administrators were well aware of the ongoing bullying and harassment that began last August, but failed to come up with a plan to stop it.
According to the lawsuit, the teen would cry in class due to the bullying, and would be sent to another classroom to seek comfort.
Zulema Guzman is seeking unspecified damages for funeral expenses and the loss of her son’s comfort and support.
A spokesman for the King-Chavez Neighborhood of Schools, Dave Cieslak, issued a statement regarding the pending litigation.
“We strongly disagree with the statements made in this court filing,” the statement reads. “However, due to privacy concerns and out of respect for the family, we are unable to discuss the matter or provide additional details at this time.”
San Diego Unified School District spokeswoman Maureen Magee said the district has notified the plaintiff that it does not operate the King-Chavez charter school, which sets its own policies and educational standards.
–City News Service
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