School Cop Terrorized Kids, Families Say

     BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (CN) – A middle school security guard beat up a boy and bullied two girls, the kids and their mothers claim in court.
     Donovan Whitley and his mother, LaMeisha Whitley; Melita Suazo and her mother, Pearl Campos; and Mecca Wady-Wesley and her mother, Mary Wady, sued California City Middle School, principal Starletta Darbeau and security guard Maria Belen Oceguera.
     The Whitleys claim that Oceguera refused to help Donovan when a woman attacked him and stole his backpack while he was walking home from school one afternoon.
     Though Donovan recovered his backpack the next morning, his mother says drove up to the school the next morning to speak with Principal Darbeau about the incident and complain about Oceguera’s behavior.
     “She also informed them that she wanted to file an incident report and wished to press charges, but the school was uncooperative,” the complaint states.
     Oceguera in turn began following and bullying Donovan on campus, the Whitleys say.
     After Oceguera attacked Donovan, the boy was hospitalized and suffered “contusions to his face and eye, bruising, pain, tenderness, soreness, and nightmares,” according to the complaint.
     When the Whitleys tried to file a report, the California City Police Department allegedly rebuffed them three times. Sgt. Hayes agreed to take the report a week later, according to the complaint.
     Melita Suazo allegedly saw Oceguera attack Donovan and told her mom, Pearl Campos. Soon afterward, Suazo says she faced harassment and threats from Oceguera and female classmates allegedly sent by Oceguera.
     Suazo claims one of the girls attacked her in front of Oceguera.
     “During the incident, defendant Maria Belen Oceguera watched, and then grabbed plaintiff Melita Suazo by the back of her hair, dragging her across the floor and yanking her to her feet; pulling her up by hair and pulling a plug of hair out,” according to the complaint. “The female student rose to her feet and went back after plaintiff Melita Suazo, who had just broken herself free from defendant’s grasp. Defendant, Maria Belen Oceguera then jumped on plaintiff’s back causing plaintiff to hit her hand on the wall. Plaintiff was suspended.”
     Suazo says she went to the hospital to treat her injuries, and is now “under psychiatric medical treatmet due to the ill-effects of her experiences and treatment at California City Middle School that have emotionally and mentally traumatized her.”
     Campos, the girl’s mother, filed a report with the California City Police Department accusing Oceguera of abusing her daughter, but says the department closed out the case without thoroughly investigating the incident.
     “Thereafter, plaintiff Mecca Wady-Wesley, whose mother Mary Wady has been a previous target of defendant Maria Belen Oceguera, became the new prey of the insidious and callous attitude and conduct of the California City Middle School staff under the supervision of principal, defendant Starletta Darbeau,” the complaint states.
     Wady-Wesley claims that her teachers are, among other things, tampering with her grades, humiliating her, insulting her, and subjecting her to daily verbal and mental abuse.
     “Plaintiffs have suffered emotional and mental damage due to the ill-effects of their experiences and treatment at California City Middle School that have emotionally and mentally traumatized them,” according to complaint.
     They seek punitive damages for negligence, assault and battery, and emotional distress. The families are represented by Tamara Binns of Lancaster.
     Mojave Unified School District, the city of California City, the California City Police Department, Deputy Blanton and Officer Brandon Vaccaro are also named as defendants.

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