A Solana Beach middle school student says a teacher tried to coerce him to lie about an injury inside her classroom and when he refused, she ignored reports of other students bullying him.
The allegations were detailed in an April 2019 lawsuit against the San Dieguito Union High School District, English teacher Cathy Shope, and a student. The lawsuit was only recently made public due to the age of the student.
According to the lawsuit, the student at Earl Warren Middle School in Solana Beach, only identified in the complaint as “Minor K,” said Shope was “wearing earbuds and engaged on her computer” during class one day in May 2018 when one of her students pulled the chair out from underneath him. The student’s arm broke as a result of the fall.
The following day, according to the complaint, the student showed up with a cast on his right arm and Shope tried to convince him to lie about the injury.
“Shope attempted to coerce Minor K into lying about the incident by saying that it didn’t happen in her classroom…” reads the lawsuit.
And when the student refused, the lawsuit states Shope retaliated by “allowing Minor K to be berated, insulted, verbally abused, and physically assaulted.”
Examples of the alleged bullying includee other students calling the student racial slurs, shoving him against his desk, threatening to stab him, and urging him to kill himself.
The lawsuit states the student’s doctors wrote notes instructing the school district to provide the student special accommodations by not requiring him to return to the campus. The district, according to the complaint, declined.
“The District was aware of the physical and verbal abuse and took no action to protect Minor K or to prevent such conduct and, instead, allowed for the conduct to continue without any action or discipline until Minor K reached the point of being told by his doctors that it was unsafe for him to go to Earl Warren Middle School,” reads the complaint.
Attorneys for the school district denied the allegations.
The Superintendent for San Dieguito Union High School District did not respond to NBC 7’s questions about the lawsuit. Cathy Shope is still listed as a teacher for the district and also did not respond to messages left for her.