PALO ALTO - A public high school in Palo Alto is under fire after several students claim they were the victims of violent and racist bullying. The parents of the six male students at Gunn High School claim administrators didn’t do enough to protect them.
A court filing submitted by attorneys representing the parents of the students details how in one incident, several of the boys were ganged up on in a bathroom. One student was sent to the emergency room with a bleeding ear and two others to the nurse.
"The boys screamed for help in the bathroom, but no help came," said the court filing.
Later in the day a student was allegedly "pummeled with fists and kicks" before physical education class, resulting in head injuries.
According to the court filing, the onslaught of racial slurs and bullying began in September. The targeted students included one who is black, who was repeatedly called the N-word, and five others who are of European or Middle Eastern descent.
Attorneys say the students’ parents contacted the school, and despite assurances that their children would be protected, the hazing continued. At one point the students took two weeks off from school to avoid the attacks.
This is not first time Gunn High School. Two separate sexual assaults, including one where the victim was later taunted, were reported at the school in 2017 and 2019.
Gunn High School principal Wendy Stratton, responded to the latest accusations in a statement Friday, saying quote: "Palo Alto Unified School District takes reports of bullying and harassment seriously. The site has worked with the involved students and families utilizing the uniform complaint procedures (ucp). One request for a transfer was granted, although the recipient declined unless his friends were also transferred. The aggressors were immediately disciplined consistent with protocols and protective measures are in place."