Colton Unified School District Suffers Student Death Some Blame PBIS

Yesterday KTLA Channel 5 reported on the death of a Colton Unified School District Student.

“The parents of a 12-year-old boy who died after playing soccer Tuesday during a physical education class at an elementary school in Colton said Wednesday that a school bully stomped on their son’s chest before he lost consciousness.

School officials told him that Dominick had fallen and lost consciousness after running into another student, Gallegos told KTLA on Wednesday.

Katie Orloff, a spokeswoman for the Colton Joint Unified School District confirmed that a student had died and said a crisis team was at the school Wednesday. She did not provide any details of what had occurred.

“Everybody here is trying to do their best to support each other and work through it as the community that we are.” Orloff said.

Detectives were sent to the hospital and ruled out any type of assault or physical injury that may have happened at the school, according to Colton Police Department Officer Todd Smith, the school’s resource officer.

However, Dominick’s father talked to his son’s friends who witnessed the incident and believes his son was kicked by another student.

The students told Gallegos that Dominick slipped when he went to pick up a soccer ball and another student, who Gallegos said has a reputation for being a school bully, stomped on his son’s chest twice and Dominick lost consciousness.

“I guess the kid thought he was playing around. He started shaking him to wake up,” Gallegos said.

But that’s when the bell ending to school day rang and the boy just took off, Gallegos said.

“I don’t know where the teachers were,” said Gallegos, who felt his son should have been better supervised during the class. “Someone should have been watching those kids.”

Gallegos and the boy’s mother both said their son had no health problems and recently had a physical.”

See the full story from channel 5 here:

Now here is our issue with this story. According to Colton Police Officer Todd Smith “there was no proof that someone caused the student to die.” So how does Colton PD explain the witness reports? How can a School Resource officer feel confident that he can examine a dead body and rule out physical contact? Colton Unified has a long history of ignoring bully complaints and lying to parents, community, press and law enforcement.

This death reminds us of the bully case in 2014 where Jewlie Serna’s son had a bully give him death threats. This student was a known bully with issues and was labeled a special education student. Mrs Serna went round and round with the school and district and in a last ditch effort to get help she went to Social Media. Once she posted her sons issue on Facebook the stories of other students that were bullied and never helped came flooding in.

What made matters worse is when Mrs Serna brought a parent-child advocate and bully prevention professionals to a Colton Unified School Board meeting in an effort to get the school board to act the school and principal came out in force not to stand by Mrs Sernas son but to stand up for the administration that had been caught lying to police, community and parents.

We reached out to Mrs Serna to see if she wanted to make a statement on this horrible incident.

“I am so sickened to hear about this young boy’s death, I have been trying for about two years to change something with the CJUSD policies regarding bullying to no avail. The lack of truth and transparency was a large hurdle to over come in my sons case but though an attorney and a judge that was sick of the schools/ districts doing nothing I was able to protect my son through a restraining order. The schools and districts all point fingers the other way, no one is accountable.”

The popular thing we hear from people who work in education is that they are here for the children. But even louder than that old tag line is their actions. Covering up abuse, squabbling over money and work load and standing up for bad administrators instead of the kids who we claim to care for speak louder than your tired catch phrases.

We titled this article Colton Unified School District Suffers Student Death Some Blame PBIS because it is Positive Behavior Intervention Support that Colton and other IE School Districts are hiding behind to excuse the lack of accountability when it comes to punishing bad student behavior. How can we send our children to California Public Schools without worrying for their safety?