Officers have arrested two 12-year-old girls and a third pre-teen is being sought in connection with a classroom assault on a student and teacher that took place at a California middle school last week, according to reports.
According to a statement from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, a “student-on-student assault” took place at Sunnymead Middle School in Moreno Valley at around 11 a.m. on Oct. 2, leading to the arrest of the two young girls, reported ABC 7.
After the incident unfolded, administrators at the school immediately contacted the school resource officer.
Three suspects were identified in the attack, but their names and identity are being publicly withheld because of their ages.
“All three suspects entered the victim’s classroom and assaulted both the victim and the assigned teacher,” the release said.
The footage shows several people, including an adult, attempting to break up the fight as at least two girls throw punches.
The two 12-year-old girls were brought into custody by the school resource officer (SRO) unit on multiple battery charges. They were then booked into Riverside County Juvenile Hall, according to the release.
“The SRO Unit is actively seeking the third suspect in this incident,” it reads.
According to the Moreno Valley Unified School District, nobody was injured in the assault, reported KTLA. However, the county’s sheriff’s department said one of the 12-year-old girls suffered injuries that did not require hospitalization,
A female student told the outlet she was attacked by two of her former friends, and now wants to transfer to a different school.
Meanwhile, an eighth-grade student at Sunnymead Middle School said the group of girls who entered the classroom just before the altercation unfolded looked “ready to fight.”
Speaking to KTLA, a woman whose niece, Laura, attends the school said more needs to be done to prevent fights at the school after another student “jumped” Laura in August. Her mother added that the incident left her with a swollen head, neck spasms, and needing hospitalization.
Another child got attack at sunnymead middle school, parents told @MorenoValleyUSD to try to prevent it &they did NOTHING AGAIN.When will you do something about it?Please retweet help spread the word so this can stop! @Channel4News @Channel5N video of my SISTER being bullied pic.twitter.com/vZ0OfPvsuA
— RooBae (@Zee_Bum) October 3, 2019
Laura’s sister, Ruby Villalobos, told The Epoch Times her sister has been bullied at the school for three years.
“They follow her home, gang up on her in the bathrooms, and pick on her in class. she has done everything to try to prevent from getting into a fight with them but they just don’t leave her alone. She’s gone to the office to report them and has even told teachers about it.”
Villalobos said their mother has emailed the school principal about the bullying on multiple occasions, but nothing has been done. “We both feel the principal didn’t care enough ‘to look into it,’” she told the Epoch Times.
On one occasion Laura went to the school office “to seek protection” from her bullies, but was told to leave by staff, Villalobos said.
“Shortly after she called me crying telling me she’s hiding in the bathroom and needed me to pick her up because she was scared, that they wanted to jump her, so I left work to go get her. I told her to go straight to the office and she did but they denied her protection again.”
“The bullying got so bad that my mom had to home school my sister for the remaining of the year 2018-2019,” she added.
When Laura returned to another Moreno Valley public school in August, she was targeted and attacked by another group of girls, who left her with a concussion.
Villalobos added that both her sister and her attacker were suspended after the incident, and the school only apologized after footage of the attack gained attention on social media.
“Shortly after the principal called my mom and apologized as well as unsuspended my sister saying it wasn’t her fault that she shouldn’t have gotten in trouble.”
Villalobos said she and her mother both feel the school district isn’t doing enough to protect its students.
“Many parents have gone to them about bullying and they don’t care enough about it, only when a student dies is when they pretend to care,” she told The Epoch Times.
A spokeswoman for the school district, Anahi Velasco said it was working with the sheriff’s office to cooperate with their investigation.
“Our teacher followed protocol of intervening to stop the incident when it was safe to do so and she called for help,” Velasco said in a statement. “A campus security officer and an administrator responded in addition to a school resource officer.”
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact Sgt. Tejeda at the sheriff’s Moreno Valley station at (951) 486-6700.