Chula Vista mom outraged after her son was "assaulted" by school administrator

Teen was part of group singing in the bathroom
Posted at 7:03 PM, Jun 07, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-07 22:03:16-04

CHULA VISTA, Calif. (KGTV) -- It seemed like a strange place to strike up a chorus, but that's what happened at Bonita Vista High School April 17th, when a group of teens in the boys' bathroom sang the Halo theme song.

What they didn't realize was that school administrators who heard the ruckus thought it was a lunch hour fight.

As they entered the bathroom, they faced a group of singing teens, most of them recording the event on their cell phones.

Freshman Isaac Espino was moving toward the door when the school's attendance coordinator reached out and grabbed his backpack strap, shoving Espino toward the exit.

The whole thing was recorded by another teen in the bathroom. "I don't think I did anything wrong to provoke him or anything like that," Espino told 10News.

Word of the incident quickly spread via social media. It didn't take long before Espino's mother saw the video clip.

She was angry and wanted answers. Rosa Espino said the administrator called her after the incident and said he thought Isaac was involved in a fight.

"I said you were pulling him off another student?" His answer was no, said Espino. "I say OK, so you were pulling another student off him?" Espino said the man's answer was no.

"I said OK, then what led you to believe that there was a physical altercation between my son and somebody?" She claims the man didn't have an answer.

Rosa Espino said she's watched the video several times, looking for answers. She said it makes no sense to her that the administrator didn't give any warning before forcefully pushing her son toward the door.

It isn't until after Isaac was shoved that the man told the teens to get out. Espino's mom met with school officials demanding some action be taken against the man who she says roughed up her son.

The man offered an apology, but Espino said it seemed insincere. She filed a report with the Chula Vista Police Department, but they declined to file charges because the administrator was reacting to what he believed was a fight that could endanger children.

"There was no crime committed, which I think is funny because if I were to grab somebody else's kid and throw them I'm pretty sure that would be considered assault and battery," said Espino.

10News reached out to the Sweetwater Union High School District. Spokesman Manuel Rubio sent this written statement:

"Bonita Vista High School and the Sweetwater Union High School District have taken this matter very seriously and launched an investigation immediately upon being made aware of this. Although we cannot share specific details because of confidentiality, the Bonita Vista High administration has met with the family of the student involved multiple times and has made every effort to find a resolution to this matter."

Rosa Espino told 10News she believes the administrator who man-handled her son should face consequences.

She also hopes the district will draft a policy to help employees better understand when and when not to have physical contact with students.

She also worries about how administrators will handle real problems when they arise and whether they know how to de-escalate situations rather than making them worse. "Especially in this day and age when there are all these shootings, and you're gonna react like that?"