UPDATE: Video surfaces of Lakewood High School staff physically restraining student with special needs during protest

Earlier this week, “students staged a demonstration in the quad area of Lakewood High School’s campus…Students staged the demonstration after a social media account surfaced where anonymous individuals made mention of inappropriate actions by their peers.” according to Justin Grayson, Chief Communications and Community Relations Officer with the Long Beach Unified School District. 

In response to the student protest, administrators reportedly attempted to shut the demonstration down and disperse the crowd. A video later surfaced of a school staff member physically restraining a student who was holding a sign as a part of the demonstration. After the school staff member picked up the student to carry them to an unknown location, a crowd of students, staff and sheriff deputies began to crowd around. The video shows the moment in which the staff member seemingly realized the spectacle being created and released the student.

Our team was able to make contact with the mother of the student involved who voiced their concern, frustration, and anger regarding LBUSD, Lakewood High School, and the staff member involved; and their handling of the incident. The mother of the student also disclosed that their daughter has several disabilities and as a result is suffering an intensified response to the altercation. The mother added that regardless of their daughter’s disabilities, the behavior exhibited by the staff member who grabbed their daughter was unnecessary and unacceptable and would be for any student.

In the week since the incident took place, the student has been kept home to assess and treat related trauma. Having reached out to LBUSD and the school, the mother of the student has reported that neither has responded nor attempted to make contact themselves; except for an automated truancy notice in response to their daughter’s absence.

Our investigation is ongoing and our team is awaiting updates from the family as well as LBUSD representatives.