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Can a bullying case end up in a California juvenile court?

It was recently reported that local police are investigating alleged acts of violence supposedly committed against a high school student. Bullying is, unfortunately, a common problem in schools nationwide, including here in California. While many bullying cases are handled by school administrators, cases that are deemed extreme may result in criminal charges and could land the accused perpetrator in juvenile court.

The San Diego Sheriff's Department has apparently opened an investigation into reported acts of violence supposedly committed against a local high school freshman. According to the student's mother, her son has been the victim of violence and a hate crime. She has turned to police because she feels the school's attention to the situation has been insufficient.

According to the student, the whole situation began after a female student stole his colorguard saber, and he took it back after hitting the girl in the back of the head. Later that same day, the teen was allegedly surrounded by a group of boys who, he claims, started out by calling him names. Reportedly, the situation progressed into physical violence. The victim claims the physical violence was so extreme that he feels he isn't safe at school.

All California students should be able to attend school without being afraid. As such, those accused of committing these acts of violence could find themselves facing charges in juvenile court. However, before this situation is taken that far, police are asking for any witnesses to this supposed crime to please come forward. The potential charges for this situation are nothing to laugh at and could have serious repercussions, both immediate and in the future. If formal charges are filed, those accused do have the right to employ a criminal defense on their behalf.

Source: NBC San Diego, "Deputies Investigate Alleged Violence, Harassment Against Student", Candice Nguyen, Nov. 22, 2014

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