Palm Beach County School District Brushes off Assault Victim
The CBS12 NEws team and CBS12 En Espanol have teamed up to do what the Palm Beach Country School District neglected to do, investigate a family’s claims of a brutal assault.
According to CBS12, the district brushed the family off partially due to the language barrier and turned to the news channels out of desperation. They claim that their daughter was violently attacked twice by the same girl. Both attacks were recorded on social media, which was used to try to convince the school district to do something in vain.
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However, the victim, 12-year-old Mariana Losada, told CBS12 that she suffers frequent flashbacks of the event that she’d rather forget and that the videos make them worse.
“I said, maybe, if I kill myself, if I hurt myself, this is going to end.”
The first attack was on the school bus in February 6th grade. The sudden violence was recorded by surrounding students with their cell phones and spread rapidly throughout the area.
Mariana’s mother, Johana Losada, partially blamed herself for the attack.
“I feel that I failed Mariana, I failed as a mother. Mariana is not the same person,”
Johana does not speak English and told CBS that she believes the language barrier is responsible for the assault and the family’s pain being brushed off by the district. CBS used a translator to conduct their interview with Johana.
“We are immigrants, and I feel like the school police didn’t care about Mariana. If this had been another family, they would have taken this more seriously.”
The official report from the first attack described the event but redacted the attacker’s name. The girl told the administration that Mariana was spreading rumors about her and was refusing to stop, leading to violence. The Losada family was initially looking to press charges but was advised against it by the vice principal speaking through a translator, who noted the difficulties of a language barrier and brought up the grief that would be given to the attacker’s parents.
The school assured the family that the two girls would never ride the same school bus again and would be separated in school generally. But Mariana was still worried about a second attack.
“If she did it one time, why would she not do it twice?”
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Meanwhile, Mariana told CBS that she was not met with sympathy by her classmates. She claimed she was being relentlessly teased about getting beat up. CBS paints a grim picture.
“The jeering was constant. For a girl who was already shy and nervous, still learning to communicate in a new language, it was too much.”
It was so bad Mariana was caught attempting suicide at school by slitting her wrists, which she thankfully survived. “No one is going to talk about me anymore,” Mariana told the CBS investigative team, describing her suicidal thoughts.
Then, three months after the first incident, Mariana was attacked by the same girl, this time in the gym. Video shows Mariana on the ground, screaming for help while being repeatedly kicked in the head, which official reports labeled a “cat fight.”
The Losadas pushed for the attacker’s expulsion, but the school refused, citing that the year was almost over and the girls would go to different schools after the summer break.
When asked by CBS12, the school district was not forthcoming with any details justifying their decisions.
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