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‘Situation is horrific,’ lawyer says of attack on Las Vegas girl

A Las Vegas High School student who was attacked in class this month in an alleged battery captured on video has obtained legal representation from attorneys with the American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada.

ACLU President Robert Langford and Executive Director Athar Haseebullah are representing the student, according to a news release from the organization. Langford said Monday that the ACLU is in the process of examining the “state of student violence” in the Clark County School District but has not decided on further legal action in the case.

“We hope to talk soon with the school district and have a conversation,” Langford told the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

The attack, which happened Feb. 2, was captured in a video posted online that showed a girl punching another girl multiple times, school police Lt. Bryan Zink has said. He said the attacker was cited for battery and will be disciplined by the school.

“We strongly encourage students and members of the community not to share footage of this incident or any other student fights,” the school district has said in a statement. “Showing this video serves no purpose other than to further ridicule and embarrass the victim and embolden bullies.”

The video has been viewed “thousands of times” and shows a girl being punched dozens of times in the back of her head “without intervention,” while the girl was unconscious, according to the ACLU’s news release.

“In a district of more than 300,000 students, it is imperative that actions like this don’t go unchecked,” Langford said in the statement. “This situation is horrific, and 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.”

Langford on Monday said he hopes to work with the school district to create “real change” and prevent similar acts of violence from happening in the future.

“This has got to happen now because children’s lives literally are at risk,” he said.

The student who was attacked continues to “experience the physical toll” from being repeatedly struck, according to the ACLU’s news release.

“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,” Haseebullah said in the statement. “I’m proud to stand beside our client and her mother as they seek accountability.”

Contact Katelyn Newberg at knewberg@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0240. Follow @k_newberg on Twitter.

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