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In Orange County California, a young student shoots himself after years of being subjected to bullying behavior. Is the school negligent?


Blog Category:
9/18/2009
James E. Ballidis
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Last month the parents of Daniel Mendez filed a wrongful death suit in Orange County Superior Court against the Capistrano Unified School District.  The suit alleges “blatant and ongoing bullying which led to his suicide."
According to the Mendez’ attorney, the bullying started in middle school and continued through the second year of high school.

Even though the Orange County school district’s has a zero tolerance policy with respect to bullying, the behavior continued for several years.  The suit claims that Mendez was both physically and verbally abused. For some unknown reason, the bullying escalated in spring 2009 and on May 1st, he came home from school and broke into his father’s gun cabinet, stole a gun and then shot himself in the head.

The school district has declined any comment about the case. It is clear that in a large school district, not all bullying can be stopped,  However, when ongoing bullying behavior escalates to the degree shown here, an investigation is in order to determine if the zero tolerance rule is being enforced.  It is a shame that the parents and the school district could not have come to an alternative early solution to this issue. It ultimately may have saved this young man’s life.  If you need help with a wrongful death caused by another's negligence, call us at 1 866-981-5596.


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