A nasty fight was caught on camera at Westwood High in Mesa just two weeks ago. Now the mother of one of the girls reached out to us, saying she's beyond mad over the punishment.
She said her daughter is at home nursing a concussion, while the girl she accuses of starting the fight is back at school after a brief suspension.
"I got sick to my stomach, it was very disgusting and disturbing to me," said Natalie Vella, talking about a video showing a brawl between two girls.
One of them is her daughter, Kala Cooper, but Vella said Cooper wasn't trying to fight back.
"My daughter's (sic) got her fist over her face trying to cover her face to keep it protected," Vella said.
Vella said her daughter was bullied for months leading up to this, and the girls involved even signed a no-contact order. But then, on Nov. 28, Vella said it was violated.
"I told her to leave me alone, go away and that's when she punched me, and I don't remember anything from there," said 16-year-old Cooper.
She said the fight left her with a concussion and still doesn't feel well enough to go back to school. But the girl Cooper said started the fight has gone back to school after a 9-day suspension.
"I'm upset because I want to know why she's allowed to be back on campus," Vella said. "Where is the zero tolerance for bullying?"
The school district sent us a statement saying:
"Mesa Public Schools takes reports of bullying very seriously, and we have a comprehensive policy on student harassment and bullying.
We have no documentation of bullying between these two students.
The principal followed appropriate guidelines for discipline for this incident, and this was reviewed by the district hearing officer. The range of appropriate discipline is documented in our information and guidelines for secondary students.
Regarding our efforts to prevent fighting, every student receives the information and guidelines booklet at the beginning of the school year and signs a statement of awareness affirming they have received the information and understand the consequences for inappropriate behavior. We have counselors available to work with students who may be experiencing difficulties."
Vella said she plans on pressing criminal charges.
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