LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The Las Vegas High School student shown being brutally beaten in the middle of a classroom has obtained legal representation, the American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada announced on Wednesday.
Video of the attack circulated widely on social media and has since made national headlines. It shows the student being repeatedly punched in her head by another student, as a classroom full of teenagers look on. In the video, the beating lasts approximately 18 seconds. After approximately 8 seconds, the student stops lifting her hands up to protect herself, and her head lies on the desk in front of her. She does not lift her hands up after the attack ends.
The student has obtained legal representation from local attorney Robert Langford and from Atha Haseebullah, the executive director of the ACLU of Nevada.
"We remain concerned about her short term and long term health, and the systemic failures that led us here," Haseebullah said on Twitter.
He said she "legitimately could have died as a result of this incident and continues to experience the physical toll of being struck by dozens of blows to her head when she was already unconscious."
The Clark County School District's police department confirmed that a student was cited for battery on Feb. 2. CCSD says it cannot comment on what kind of disciplinary action was taken due to privacy laws.
In a statement following the attack, Superintendent Dr. Jesus Jara said the district will not tolerate violent acts, assaults, and bullying and that "those who choose to engage in these activities will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."
Langford said it is "imperative that actions like this don't go unchecked."He called the situation "horrific" and said "no student should ever have to experience what she has been through."
"Every student has the right to a safe and respectful learning environment in Nevada, but that becomes mere lip service if a student is brutally beaten when simply doing their schoolwork and their families are left without answers."
Haseebullah said he and the ACLU of Nevada will help the student and her mother as they seek accountability.
"For Spanish-speaking mothers and families, like those of our client, attempting to get answers and navigate a system of 'justice' in the wake of disaster is often met with unacceptable barriers instead of decency," he said.
Within the span of the week that the video circulated on social media, news of several other violent attacks against CCSD students and staff came to light, including a Mohave High School student who was assaulted at a bus stop and had her hearing aids broken, and a student at Legacy High School reportedly attacking a school secretary.
The mother of the Mohave High School student told 13 Action News she had opened a case with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.
13 Action News reached out to Langford, the lead attorney on the case, for further comment.