Granada Hills Charter High School has been known for having a lofty image — elevated by its high academic standards and this year winning the national academic decathlon for the second straight time — the school has won the esteemed title nine times. It has been viewed as a safe school — among the best in the San Fernando Valley with many parents vying to enroll their children each year.
Parents aren’t feeling as comfortable, however, after learning that an adult didn’t immediately step in to stop a male student who brutally attacked a female classmate, reportedly to the point where most of her teeth fell out.
The attack occurred on Monday, Oct. 31, during a Spanish class. According to one student in the class, the victim — a special education student — was laughing at the student for getting an answer wrong. He responded by violently attacking the girl, punching her in the face repeatedly before stomping on her head and dragging her by the hair. The girl was left laying in a pool of blood.
The student assailant was not arrested until the following day and has not been identified.
“There was blood on other students’ clothes and backpacks,” Patricia Gomez, whose daughter attends the school, said of the aftermath.
There were reportedly two male teachers in the room during the attack, one of whom was the victim’s special ed teacher. Multiple parents, including the victim’s family, said neither stepped in to stop the assault.
Parents received a letter from the school on Tuesday saying that a physical altercation had taken place on campus. They listed the steps taken to ensure the safety of students and staff on campus — including additional campus security, daily random searches and K9 detection searches — but did not go into detail about the altercation itself.
“GHC [Granada Hills Charter] has high expectations for student conduct and we have no tolerance for violence of any kind,” the letter read. “The school took immediate action. An arrest was made.”
Some parents said their kids have stayed at home from school because of what they witnessed. Gomez said the teacher in charge of the class also didn’t show up the following day.
“I just think about what if that was my daughter,” Gomez said. “I would hope that one of the teachers would step in, or even one of the students in the class.
“Do I still like the school? Yes, it’s a good school,” she said. “This could’ve happened anywhere.”
Parents like Gomez, however, are questioning why an adult didn’t quickly intervene instead of waiting to call security. She said there are reports that he has been a problem at other schools and recently transferred to Granada Charter.
The San Fernando Valley Sun/el Sol reached out to Granada Hills Charter School but the school has not responded by press time.