Los Angeles bullies die due to head trauma resulting in an accident

Los Angeles bullies die due to head trauma resulting in an accident

LOS ANGELES, Calif. — A teenager who died days after being beaten by classmates in a bathroom at Manual Arts High School died of blunt force trauma to the head, the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed Wednesday.

Additionally, the medical examiner ruled the death of 16-year-old Shaylee Mejia an accident. However, the teen’s mother claims her daughter was bullied to death while school officials turned a blind eye to the ongoing abuse.

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Mejia died on March 15, six days after losing consciousness while attending a birthday party. Her mother, Maria Juarez, arrived at the hospital to find her daughter unconscious, and she never regained consciousness. After her daughter’s death, Juarez discovered video footage of an altercation at Manual Arts High School in which her child’s head was slammed against the bathroom wall.

Mejia never told her mother about the fight because she didn’t want to cause stress on her mother, who works as a full-time house cleaner and a single mother of two, according to Juarez.

“(She was) very obedient, a very good daughter, a very good sister,” Old Juarez Eyewitness News reported. “I’m just asking for justice.”

According to Juarez, her daughter was beaten by bullies in a fight at Manual Arts High School in December, leaving her with multiple bruises. She said her daughter moved to the school eight months ago and was targeted by bullies. She claims that when she tried to bring the fight to the attention of school officials, they ignored her concerns.

Shaylee was involved in a second fight on March 5, four days before a March 9 birthday party, where she fainted.

Civil rights attorney Luis Carrillo told the Los Angeles Times that the girl’s death could have been prevented if school officials had taken measures to prevent the fight.

“They are not protecting the children,” he told The Times. “I believe the failure to protect (Juarez)’s child is the main reason she is now dead… Had they taken action in December, the child would still be alive.”

Cellphone video of the fight in the bathroom clearly shows Shailey’s head hitting the wall, Carrillo said, calling the impact “grotesque.”

A Los Angeles Unified School District representative told the Times that police were investigating the matter, and pointed to letters sent by Principal Alejandro Macias to parents. The former offered his condolences to those affected by the teenager’s death and provided counseling support. Another letter sent the next day discusses an incident “in which school personnel intervened to break up a physical altercation between students” and says security on campus will be beefed up. That letter did not indicate whether the altercation involved Shelley, the Times reported.

The district also claimed the fatal incident occurred off campus, according to Eyewitness News

“While this tragic incident occurred outside of school hours and off campus, our heartfelt thoughts remain with those affected by this loss,” the district said in a written statement issued to the outlet.

According to the Times, cell phone video of Shailey’s two fights, both apparently in bathrooms, does not show any school staff getting involved, but does show students breaking up the fights. According to the Times, the videos are also unclear about where and when the fights took place.

Juarez said she felt shocked and helpless.

“As a mother, I had complete confidence in leaving her at school and knowing that everything would be okay,” Juarez, 34, told the Times in Spanish. “I am in shock. I have another child who is now 3 years old. How am I going to send him to school? I will just think that I will be sending my child to his death again.

City News Service contributed to this report.

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