'Let’s Kill Eleri Irons': LA school district must pay $1M to student after ignoring VILE student petition

Eleri's parents asked for help from the school’s administrators but they 'dismissed the concerns as drama over a teen love triangle'

'Let’s Kill Eleri Irons': LA school district must pay $1M to student after ignoring VILE student petition
Eleri Irons was bullied at El Segundo Middle School (El Segundo Unified School District)
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EL SEGUNDO, CALIFORNIA: El Segundo Unified School District has been ordered to pay $1 million after they failed to protect a teen, Eleri Irons, who is now 18, from bullies while she was in middle school. According to a lawsuit filed against the school district in April 2019, three classmates bullied Eleri between November 2017 and June 2018 with “verbal harassment, spreading nasty rumors and texting mean comments directly” to her. A petition entitled 'Let’s Kill Eleri Irons' was too started by fellow teens in June 2018.

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According to the Los Angeles Times, the school district was ordered by a Los Angeles County Superior Court jury to pay Eleri, who was a victim of bullying when she was 13 years old. One student started a petition called 'Let’s kill Eleri Irons, according to the lawsuit filed by the teen’s parents, Christopher and Natalie Irons, in 2019. They said the teachers didn’t notify them despite discovering the petition, resulting in “significant physical and psychological trauma" of the teen. Eleri's attorney Christa Ramey said the girl “suffered PTSD, cut herself and sought refuge in the school nurse’s office nearly every lunch break.”

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Former Principal Melissa Gooden of El Segundo Middle School (El Segundo Unified School District)
Former Principal Melissa Gooden of El Segundo Middle School (El Segundo Unified School District)

Christa said Eleri's parents asked for help from the school’s administrators and counselor, but they “dismissed the concerns as drama over a teen love triangle." The attorney also accused former Principal Melissa Gooden, who is now the district’s executive director of human resources, of falsely claiming to have informed police about the petition on June 13, 2018. Christa said, "She didn’t call the police that day. She attempted to make it seem like they did everything they could, but in reality, during the entire year, they didn’t do anything. They never investigated a single claim of bullying made by my client.” Adding further, Christa said, “Every teacher, counselor and administrator who touched this case failed not only my client, but also the aggressors and every other student at the school. Bullying is to be taken seriously and the administrators are culpable when they don’t stop it.”

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Commenting on the win, Eleri said, “I am so thankful that I have been able to share my experience and to actually be taken seriously so that the next time a child asks for help, the school will address it the way they should have for me."

El Segundo schools superintendent Melissa Moore said the district has added two student safety assistant positions at two elementary schools and they have also implemented a safety plan for all schools. "As a school district, we respect the ruling of the court and acknowledge the findings of the lawsuit. The next steps are up to our legal counsel. As we move forward, we are committed to self-improvement and doing everything we can to prevent bullying in our schools, Melissa said.

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