Mother claims school ignored claims after son was beaten in alleged bullying attack in South LA

She claims her young son, who's a special education student, was bullied and called racial slurs.

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Saturday, September 24, 2022
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An L.A. mother claims school officials ignored her concern after her son was bullied and called racial slurs, and one incident that allegedly stemmed from bullying was caught on video.

SOUTH LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A Los Angeles mother claims school officials ignored her concern after her son was bullied and called racial slurs, and one incident that allegedly stemmed from bullying was caught on video.

This happened last year at John Adams Middle School in South Los Angeles.

The victim, who Eyewitness News is only identifying as SB, struggles with learning disabilities and is a special education student.

He has since moved to a different school.

The alleged bullying attack happened on the playground and was recorded on a cellphone. SB is seen on the ground getting punched and claims it all started after the other student pushed him and yelled racial slur.

"He started calling me the N word," said SB. "[I was] shocked because I'm not used to people calling me that."

SB's mother, Lashae Bowen, spoke with ABC7 and claims she didn't receive assistance from the school's principal.

"I said, 'Did he tell you that he called my son the N-word a few times?' I said because nobody is not going to voice that. But y'all are going to say that he did something wrong," said the mother. "And then he was like, 'I don't want to hear it. I don't want to talk to you no more.'"

The beating was so severe that SB suffered broken bones in his hand.

Bowen said there had been another bullying incident a month earlier and she was assured by the school there would be an anti-bullying safety plan.

After this attack, she claims she didn't get answers.

"I just kept calling, calling, calling and calling to see if I can get any type of help but it did kind of make me feel like, they don't care," said Bowen.

The mother then contacted an attorney who says the school district did not look into this appropriately.

"We expect that there not be any racial abuse or racial bullying at school at the LAUSD," said attorney Ned Menoyo. "Unfortunately, this case is an illustration that perhaps that's not the case, that children aren't always safe."

Bowen says her son is vulnerable to being bullied and is at risk of being injured at school.

SB told ABC7 while he was in the playground, there was no adult supervision.

"Going to school shouldn't be some sort a version of 'The Hunger Games.' It shouldn't be some sort of obstacle course. These are children," said attorney Malik Burroughs.

Eyewitness News contacted the Los Angeles Unified School District. Though it would not comment on SB's case, a statement issued by the district reads in part, "The entire John Adams Middle School community stands firmly against school harassment, discrimination, indifference, bullying, and we work proactively every day to ensure the overall safety and wellbeing of all students and staff.

The school implements restorative justice practices to help pupils and individuals engage one another with integrity and respect."

There's now a claim against LAUSD and the district has six months to respond.

SB's family's attorneys say after that, a lawsuit could be filed.