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HomeLocal NewsStudent sent to ER after he was attacked by classmate in Laveen

Student sent to ER after he was attacked by classmate in Laveen

Parents are unhappy with how La Verne Charter School handled the incident.

PHOENIX — When Ruben Almanza picked up his son from school last week, he sensed something was wrong.

“He covered his eyes and had tears in his eyes,” Almanza said.

His 10-year-old son, Ruben Almanza II, attends La Verne Heritage School. When Reuben removed his hands from his face, Almanza said his son’s eye was black and swollen with a half-inch gash underneath. A fifth-grader told his father that a classmate hit him in the face with a plastic trash can in class.

“I felt helpless, like I couldn’t be around him,” Almanza said.

Almanza called Ruben’s mother, Marissa Vasquez, to tell her the situation.

“It’s a terrible feeling,” Vasquez said.

She rushed Reuben to the emergency room for a checkup. Vasquez said the student who attacked her son had bullied him in the past.

“Two weeks ago, this child’s (Reuben’s) body was thrown to the ground,” she said.

Both Vasquez and Almanza were upset by how their teacher handled the attack. Claiming they gave Reuben an ice pack and then kicked him out because school had just finished.

“No one touched his eyes, no one sent him to the nurse,” Vasquez said.

Parents spoke with the school principal about what happened. They claimed they were told students would face “serious” consequences for their actions.

Vasquez believed this meant the child would be placed in another class or expelled. However, a few days later, Reuben told them, the student returned to the classroom.

An official from Heritage School sent a statement to 12News saying the administration is aware that a physical altercation occurred and is investigating. They also wrote that students were given appropriate consequences but could not legally disclose what those consequences were.

Both parents felt the consequences were not severe enough.

“I’m not saying to throw the book at him, but I think it was a little over three days,” Almanza said.

“This kid cut our kid’s eye with an object. This was not a three-day suspension,” Vasquez said.

Now, they say Ruben is afraid to go to class, and Vasquez is working to move him to another school because of the bullying and the school’s response.

“This school needs to be held fully accountable for neglecting my son in a time of need and then not providing the right consequences for those who attacked our children,” she said.

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