Daniel Rodriguez, founding partner and president of Rodriguez & Associates, announced in a press conference on Wednesday, October 26, 2022, that his firm is representing a special needs student who was the victim of a bullying incident at Arvin High School.
The victim is a 16-year-old student who has significant learning disabilities. Mr. Rodriguez explained that it is difficult for special needs children to fit in and find acceptance and friends, making them a target for manipulation.
Recorded by student onlookers and posted across social media platforms including Twitter and TikTok, the video showed the student’s evident despair and frustration as a crowd of bystanders, which included at least one security guard, taunted and laughed at him as multiple students shaved his head.
The incident seemingly ended when another student came to the aid of the victim, helping him to a female security guard who carted him away from the situation. Danay Gonzales, an attorney with the firm, says the school never contacted the student’s mother, who learned of the incident from her sister who had seen it online. The school then attempted to blame the bullying on the student.
Arvin High School, which happens to be Mr. Rodriguez’s alma mater, is part of the Kern County School District. Rodriguez stated in the press conference that schools have a legal obligation and duty to protect all students, a standard that was not met considering the outcome of this incident.
“What is going on in the high school district? They all talk about having measures in place. [Bullying is] not just isolated to Arvin High School,” Rodriguez said. “We have a number of other cases.”
An outpouring of support for the victim and public outcry against the school administration was voiced in a protest last week as residents, students, alumni, and family members surrounded the school. School officials issued a statement, assuring the public that they were investigating the incident and that two staff members were placed on administrative leave.
Rodriguez said his office is also conducting a full investigation of the incident and intends to hold responsible both those directly involved and others who failed to protect the student. Since this particular case is against a government-funded public school, the firm must file a government tort claim prior to filing a lawsuit.
The team of award-winning attorneys at Rodriguez & Associates is known for handling complicated and sensitive issues involving minors affected by school bullying, violence, and other in-school incidents. They offer care and compassion for their clients while fighting intently for truth and justice.
About Rodriguez & Associates
Rodriguez & Associates is Kern County’s top personal injury law firm. The lawyers have more than 100 years of combined experience. They are an award-winning law firm known to deliver big firm results with small firm service.