Posted on 13 October 2012 by laha1016
By Jay Seidel
La Habra Journal
The proceedings at the La Habra City Council meeting gave way, as they always do, to allow for public comments. However, the comments raised at this particular meeting were impassioned and focused more directly at the city schools.
La Habra resident Kelly Julian addressed the council about an incident that happened at Las Positias Elementary School in early September where she explained that three fourth-grade boys assaulted her 9-year-old daughter.
Julian detailed how she had brought this to the attention of the La Habra City School Board at its meeting four days prior to the city council meeting, and how frustrated and angered she was at the response of the board, and that she felt that the board lied to her.
She said she felt compelled to go to the city council to make them aware of the issue and of her concern.
The city council has no authority over the school board and was thus unable to act upon this issue. All council members expressed their heart-felt thoughts for the well-being of her daughter, but echoed that the body had no authority in this matter.
La Habra City School District Board Trustee Sharon Brown addressed the council and detailed that the school board heard Julian’s complaint and addressed it at its last meeting.
She added that she took exception to the accusations that the board members lied and that it was inappropriate that it was brought to the city council and that this statement to the city council was “politically charged.”
At the School board meeting, Jillian again expressed her anger in the lack of attention her daughter’s incident was given by the school district.
She said that she expressed to the principal and superintendent that the boys should be suspended for a day and an assembly be held that addressed the bullying issue.
A statement that was read by Board President Paul Rodriguez said that the matter was investigated and addressed. The boys accidentally touched the girl inappropriately while “playing a game of tag.”
In accordance with the district policy on punishment implemented at the beginning of this school year, they were not suspended, but they were required to write a letter of apology to the girl. In the letters the boys apologized for what they said happened. The board acknowledged that there was a police report filed by Julian and that the case was subsequently closed.
At the city council meeting, Brown explained that the school board was informed that the case had been closed, but a statement issued by the La Habra Police Department said the matter was investigated and passed along to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office in accordance with standard procedures.
Orange County District Attorney Chief of Staff Susan Schroeder stated that since it was an incident dealing with minors, their office was unable to comment or confirm on the status of any investigation.
Council member Jim Gomez expressed concern for this issue and asked if there was any way that the two parties could meet and discuss this issue to come to some outcome that might benefit all who are involved.