Local News

Friday, Jul 26 2013 01:02 PM

Garces High investigating 'serious incident'

By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN

Garces Memorial High School, the Diocese of Fresno and local law enforcement are investigating a reported "serious incident" that happened during a summer school sports practice, the school said in a statement Friday.

The press release doesn't reveal what's alleged to have happened but it does say, "Garces does not and will not tolerate any racial or hate-based language or behavior by anyone associated with the school."

"Every reported disciplinary incident is taken seriously and is thoroughly investigated," the release goes on to say. That process, it says, is being coordinated with the diocese and local law enforcement.

Garces notes in its release that state and federal privacy laws preclude it from sharing more detailed information about the progress of the inquiry or what happens as a result of it.

It does say, however, that any behavior "in clear conflict with the Christian values for which Garces Memorial stands is grounds for dismissal":

"Garces Memorial High School students are expected to exemplify, both on and off campus, the philosophy and mission of Garces Memorial High School which is to show respect for God, self and others, to practice moral and ethical behavior and show Christian courtesy to their fellow students."

Earlier this week, KGET Channel 17 reported that a mother it didn't identify told the station her son was the victim of racial attacks and she gave video evidence to the school -- but it didn't act.

One video reportedly shows a student saying, "What are you doing around here you (expletive) colored? I'll hang you by a (expletive) damn tree colored. I ain't scared."

"He had a picture of my son, so evidently that was directed toward my son and probably any other black child and any other African American kid that is over there," the mother told KGET.

She asked to remain anonymous, she said, to keep him from further bullying. The mother said Garces has talked to the alleged bully's parents since she reported the incident two weeks ago but that's it.

The school noted in its release, though, that it couldn't conclude its investigation or take disciplinary action until "all members of the Garces Memorial High School administration were present on campus."

The diocese and Bakersfield Police Department did not return calls seeing more information.

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