The family of a Santa Rosa High School junior who was beaten by two other girls in a video-recorded fight has sued their families and is seeking to reverse what they said was unfair disciplinary action by the school.
Allen and Mia Danley are seeking $10,000 for their daughter’s physical suffering and broken designer glasses caused by the May 16 fight, reportedly over a boy.
They claim the two girls drove to their daughter’s campus from Analy High School and attacked her. The video recorded by a witness shows the three arguing before one starts hitting the Danleys’ daughter and the other joins in.
The scuffle — watched by a throng of students — is broken up in less than a minute but not before the Danleys said their daughter was pounded on her back and had her hair ripped out.
To the family’s astonishment, their daughter received a two-day suspension for her role. They said that’s what concerns them most, because she could be barred admission to college dormitories with any history of physical violence.
“They are punishing a crime victim,” Allen Danley said. “We want it off her record.”
So far, school officials have refused to reconsider, the family said. The district’s assistant superintendent of human resources, Jason Lea, said officials are looking into the family’s request.
“It’s being reviewed . . . to make sure we are doing things the right way,” Lea said.
Sgt. Lisa Banayat, a Santa Rosa police spokeswoman, said one of the girls who attacked the Danleys’ daughter was cited in the incident. She would not release the girls’ names because they are minors.
The case comes as local families and school officials grapple with continued reports of campus violence and increased attention is focused on cyber-bullying, in which people taunt each other on social media websites and through cellphones.
Allen Danley said trouble started for his daughter, Alia Kanihan, with text-message threats after she began dating an ex-boyfriend of one of her rivals.
The day of the fight, one of the girls texted Kanihan, telling her she was coming to Santa Rosa High to beat her up, the father said.
She arrived on campus with another girl. The video shows Danley’s daughter being confronted and setting down her backpack before one of the girls comes at her with a barrage of punches. Kanihan fights back for a while before the other girl starts punching her, too.
Allen Danley said police told him it was mutual combat, and school officials refused to look at the video or consider statements from his daughter that she didn’t want to fight.
He and his wife consulted a lawyer and sued the other families in small claims court. They raised about $650 for legal fees on the site GoFundMe.com, and have set up a Facebook page, entitled “Stand up for our children’s right to self defend,” as a meeting center for other parents.
The family’s story has appeared on at least one Bay Area TV news program.
“She just wants to be 16 again and to have this all go away,” Danley said. “I’d be happy for it to go away just as soon as they take back the suspension.”
You can reach Staff Writer Paul Payne at 568-5312 or firstname.lastname@example.org.