BOYLE HEIGHTS (CBSLA) — The eighth grade student was used to students bullying her at her middle school.
But her final straw came when those bullies — four girls — set her hair on fire.
The girl’s mother tells KCAL9 reporter Cristy Fajardo it was her last straw, too. And now they have gone to the police.
Fajardo did not identify the girl or her mother — “we did not want to make the situation any worse,” she reported.
But the girl told Fajardo she’s been bullied for some time. She said she wasn’t hurt in the hair-burning incident but her mother still felt the action deserved police intervention.
What has her mother also mad is she said the school didn’t intervene for her and call the LAPD.
“She’s threatened me a couple of times before,” the girl said about one student in particular.
The girl attends Alliance College-Ready Middle School Academy #5. On the incident Thursday where her hair was burned she said, “I was really scared.”
“I just hear(d) was laughing,” she says, “and I turned around and I smelled smoke. And them laughing and looking at my hair. And I check my hair, and it was on fire.”
Luckily, she said she was able to put the fire out before her skin burned.
Her mother has since cut off the damaged ends.
The LAPD confirmed to Fajardo they are investigating the matter. “On the police report, it’s actually aggravated assault,” said the girl’s mother.
She says the police showed her security video from the school. And she’s since learned four kids were involved.
“They were passing around on the video, they were passing around a lighter,” the mom says, “so they pretty much knew what they were going to do. And they gave it to one of the girls.”
The mom told Fajardo that she was shocked by the girls’ behavior but she was also shocked by the school administrators and how they handled the incident. She says they never called her to tell her and they still haven’t answered a simple question.
“Okay, well, what are you guys going to do, what punishment, for the girls, for the kids that lit her hair on fire as a practical joke,?” she asks.
The school’s principal declined to talk to Fajardo. But in a statement, Jose Miguel Kubes wrote, “The safety of Alliance College-Ready Public School scholars is always our top priority. While we cannot comment on specific scholar-related matters, we are in contact with our school community to understand what occurred and determine next steps.”
For her part, the bullied student says she wants to graduate on stage with her class but going back to the Lincoln Heights campus does not seem to be an option. She was emphatic about one thing: “I don’t want to go back.”
To be clear, the school belongs to a network of independent charter schools. Fajardo also reached out for a comment from a spokesperson from that network but did not hear back.