Parents of teen who shot himself sue school district


By SCOTT MARTINDALE
THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER
SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO — The parents of a San Clemente High School sophomore who killed himself have filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against the Capistrano Unified School District that alleges administrators failed to stop the “blatant and ongoing” bullying leading up to his suicide.

The parents of a San Clemente High School sophomore who killed himself in May have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Capistrano Unified School District that alleges administrators failed to stop “blatant and ongoing” bullying that led up to his suicide.

Daniel Mendez, 16, was found May 1 in a residential neighborhood near his San Clemente home, dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. His parents, Danny and Anna Mendez, filed the lawsuit today in Orange County Superior Court.

“You can’t eliminate all bullying, but you can certainly deal with bullying when it gets to the level of a kid who is just chronically being tormented,” said the parents’ attorney, James Traut. “Parents should be able to rely on schools to protect their kids.”

Capistrano Unified spokeswoman Julie Hatchel declined to comment.
The lawsuit alleges that Capistrano Unified administrators did not follow school board policies and state laws in dealing with the bullying incidents. Full story.

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