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Family worried about student's safety after fight at school

EL PASO, Texas - *Abc-7 ran a story about a student at Pebble Hills High School who alleged other students assaulted him last Friday. The Socorro Independent School District told Abc-7, "Due to confidentiality laws, the district cannot disclose specific discipline measures. What we can confirm is that all students who are found to have violated the student code of conduct will face disciplinary measures." Since that newscast, Abc-7 received a call from a man who identified himself as the father of one of those other students. He disputes that account of what happened. He says the student who claims was the victim was in fact the instigator. We have further questions we'd like to ask the district, but it's after office hours. We are holding the story we planned to run in this newscast until we have a chance to present this new information to the district tomorrow.*

An El Paso family says they're worried about their teen's safety following a fight at Pebble Hills High School.

Enrique Hernandez Rios is a freshman at Pebble Hills High School. He tells Abc-7 he's been bullied before but it escalated last Friday, after a group of students attacked him on campus right before school was dismissed for the day.

Rios says the students stole a duffel bag and money from him earlier in the week, he says when he confronted the students asking for his money, the students allegedly attacked him, punching him in his face, neck and head. medical documents and photos show Rios suffered bruising, bleeding and internal swelling of the head.

The teen's mother tells Abc-7 her son called her from school after the fight and when they returned to the school's front office to report it, they were told the student was fine and no disciplinary action could be taken since no security or police officers were available to document it.

The Socorro Independent School District says each high school has three security officers and two police officers. Officials admit there are delays when incidents happen after school or on weekends because officers leave campus or are not on campus. In those instances, families need to seek outside law enforcement.

Rios says due to the lack of response by the school, she took her son to an emergency room to be seen and the family filed a police report with the El Paso Police Department.

"Our kids are intimidated, we need to use our voice. Because there needs to be another alternative to violence," the boy's mother told Abc-7.

The teen's father tells Abc-7,  they're also disappointed in how the school has handled the issue of bullying and the teen's overall safety.

"The school's taking it lightly. We've notified them, they're like oh, we're going to tell them to stop. Especially when you have these students getting emotionally damaged and committing suicide it's a problem that we have," Miguel Valles said.

Rios says even after the fight, he's still facing cyber bullying on Snapchat and social media.

"They're calling me out, they're saying, oh he's a wimp," Rios said.

The district wouldn't respond to the specific case and could only comment on how the district typically handles school altercations.

"Once we're aware of a fight, we do have camera systems within our school districts, so we always look to see if we can get any information What we do is the investigation also includes talking to students in the area, getting their information and that's part of the investigation piece. also the students that are involved, we get their statements we get them to give it to us in writing that way we investigate thoroughly. From that information, then we do our administrative review based on our student code of conduct. If need be, then our students and the parent have the right to the other piece of it which is to file with our police department," Maribel Macias, Assistant Superintendent of Administrative Services said.

The district couldn't say how many students were disciplined or if the school has offered any solutions to ensure the teen's safety. Officials could only say the students were being disciplined administratively. Punishment can include counseling, community service, suspension and even expulsion.

"We always do the progressive discipline. So if this is the first time our little one is involved in an altercation, we're here to teach. We're not here to punish just to punish, We want to teach them what is correct, how to make them successful members of our society and that's what our discipline code of conduct is for. However, if we have a little one who has multiple situations, that hasn't learned, then the code of conduct is at a different level so therefore the consequences might be a little different for that student versus another," Macias said.

The family tells Abc-7 they're frustrated because they don't know that all students involved are facing any consequences and they worry about his safety once he returns to school.

"I can't feel safe. I can't expect or hope that they don't retaliate against my son," Valles said.


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