NewsLocal News


Family sues Junipero Serra High School and San Diego Unified School District over son's suicide

Posted at 11:17 PM, Aug 08, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-09 07:27:03-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - The family of a local high student that committed suicide is suing the school’s faculty and the San Diego Unified School District over the boy’s death.

The family of Sebastian Juarez filed a lawsuit on Aug. 4. Juarez was a senior at Junipero Serra High School when he committed suicide on April 6, 2018.

The lawsuit claims Juarez took his own life because of a meeting he had with a school counselor who told him that he could not graduate. That meeting took place two days before his death.

“He went from this happy, spunky, loving life child, to a very quiet, withdrawn child,” said Rhonda Holmes, the Juarez family’s attorney.

She continued, “The parents even knew something was wrong, and they asked him, and he had mentioned that the counselor had pulled him in for a private meeting. And that’s what caused, Benny Juarez, his father, to call the counselor the next day and find out the true facts, which is that, ‘Oh, he can graduate,’ but by that point, it was too late.”

“He had mentioned to a friend that he felt like killing himself because he was told he wasn’t going to graduate,” Holmes added.

The lawsuit alleges negligence; negligent hiring, training and supervision; negligent infliction of emotional distress; intentional infliction of emotional distress; and due process rights violation.

“What led up to filing the suit is the negligence on the part of the school district and administration in delivering to Sabastian incorrect information that caused a change of events in him, that caused his death,” Holmes said.

10News reached out to the defendants named in the lawsuit for comment, but they have not responded.

A spokesman for the school district said they do not comment on pending litigation.