VENTURA, Calif. - An increase in violence at Balboa Middle School has many parents concerned for their children’s safety.
A recent video of a school fight was captured on Snapchat and rocked across social media. Some parents who didn’t want to be identified for fear of their children’s safety, claim fights on campus happen daily.
“The incidents are escalating,” one mom said. “Kids don’t feel protected. They are scared to come to school.”
One mom said her son was assaulted by a group of kids last month.
“There is one group of kids here that seem to be doing all of the bullyings and it seems to many of us that they are running the school.”
She claims her son has been bullied by the same group all year long.
“Such a big group gather around him to record it on Snapchat and to make it so no teacher could see,” said the parent. “A teacher left the hallway to take another kid to the office so she left the hallway unattended. My son got attacked.”
Another incident involved a 12-year-old girl attacked by two 8th-grade boys. She and her friend were pushed to the ground, hit and racial slurs were used.
“We’ve made about eight arrests,” said Tom Higgins, Public Information Officer at the Ventura Police Department. “A hate crime is the most serious crime that we made an arrest for.”
The School District says that the arrests come from both incidents. Superintendent David Creswell released a statement saying the district has seen enough and is now taking action. The Balboa principal is on administrative leave, more security has been assigned to the campus, and the district says it has zero tolerance for violence and racism. In the meantime, parents are still worried about their kids' safety.
“We got a death threat via text,” said the concerned mother. “He told a girl that he was going to come to my house and kill my son if he pressed charges.”