On Thursday Jan. 17 at about noon during lunch period, our daughter Ashley M. Barlow along with another student was assaulted, brutally beaten and orally discriminated by five girls. The five girls identified are of African-American decent with the names of: Ashley Moore, Branaya, Essence, Keshana and Emerald; all fifth- graders.
Ashley Barlow and the other student who was assaulted as well immediately reported the incident to the principal’s office and were dismissed by the office worker named “Donna,” who stated “go tell the teacher on duty on the playground outside.” They then reported to the teacher outside who appeared not to understand the girls as she was not English speaking.
The girls then all had to report to class after lunch while Ashley Barlow was in pain due to punches to the chest and abdominal regions. Her classroom teacher was aware of this incident and did nothing, but offer to discuss the situation with the entire classroom the next Tuesday, Jan. 22.
After Ashley came home, we called the school but they were closed, so the next morning, we kept Ashley home from school because she was bruised, in pain and emotionally distraught.
We reported to the school’s answering machine early that morning that Ashley would not be going to school and explained the issue in great detail. We had not received a call back from the principal, so a few hours later, we called again and was told the principal wasn't available. Finally, a few hours later, we received a call from Pat Saddler who identified herself as the Principal and reported the five girls were suspended from school that day.
We feel the action taken by the school is inadequate, and the school has seriously failed to report and respond to this complaint accordingly. We seek adequate retribution for the injuries our daughter suffered.
Therefore we are filing a formal complaint with the superintendent of the Berkeley school district and notifying the Berkeley Police Department regarding this bias crime.
Maria Estrella Michael Barlow