Teen girl beaten in fight at Adelanto middle school was victim of cyberbullying, parent says

ADELANTO, Calif. (KABC) -- Several students were suspended after video captured a brawl on the campus of a San Bernardino County middle school last week.

A parent of a student involved in the fight at Columbia Middle School in Adelanto blames cyberbullying for sparking the violence.

"I feel like something needs to take place because it doesn't put you in a good place to watch your daughter go through something you can't help her with," said Tiffany Perez, whose daughter was suspended because of the fight.

Tiffany's 13-year-old daughter Lauryn said the melee left her battered and bruised. She said she had to go the hospital.

Lauryn said following the violence, the cyberbullying continued. She shared recent garbled text messages with Eyewitness News, including one that said "How dat (blank) whoopin felt..."

At the very bottom of the messages, it shows the account was blocked.

"I don't want to go back to school. I feel like it's going to happen again if I go back because in the messages they were saying 'when y'all come back to school we're going to do it again' and things like that," Lauryn said. "It just made me want to cut my phone off, just delete all the social apps."

The National Center for Education Statistics and Bureau of Justice said in a 2019 survey that about 16% of students ages 9 to 12 experienced cyberbullying.

The American Academy of Pediatrics reports bullying and cyberbullying are major risk factors for teen suicide.

"We are constantly telling our parents if your student feels if they are being bullied in person or cyberbullyied, immediately let us know," said Richard Upshaw, Columbia Middle School principal. "We have counselors on campus."

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