Glendale Unified slapped with lawsuit after student faints during a school rehearsal

Glendale Unified School District, whose district office is pictured, is being sued for general negligence by a student who claims she fainted and injured herself after not being allowed to rest during rehearsal for a school recital in 2017.
(Tim Berger / Glendale News-Press)

A Glendale Unified School District student is suing the district, claiming she fainted and was injured after suffering from heat and exhaustion during a rehearsal for a school recital in 2017.

According to a copy of the civil complaint, which was filed by her father in Los Angeles County Superior Court on Tuesday, the girl sustained a brain injury from fainting and had to get 16 stitches to close up a wound on her chin.

The lawsuit seeks damages from the district for emotional and physical injuries and to cover future medical expenses.

A district spokeswoman said the district has not yet been served with the suit and couldn’t comment further.


According to the suit, the girl and other students enrolled in Benjamin Franklin Elementary School’s Italian dual-language immersion program were rehearsing on Dec. 8, 2017, for an upcoming holiday recital.

The suit alleges that the students were required to stand in place close to one another in the school’s auditorium during the day, even if they weren’t actively rehearsing. The students, who ranged from kindergartners to sixth-graders, reportedly started to complain about the heat in the room and being tired from standing.

According to the lawsuit, one student asked if it was possible for them to sit down when they were not rehearsing, but a teacher “replied with a quick ‘no.’” No form of relief was provided to the children, the suit claims.

“Shortly after, [the plaintiff] fainted and fell forward down the steps on the stage and landed face first, cutting open her chin,” the suit says.


The lawsuit claims that one teacher ran to the student and shouted for someone to call 911; however, no one contacted emergency services, the suit says.

Instead, it says, when the student regained consciousness, she was taken to the school’s front office to wait for her mother.

According to the lawsuit, when a school receptionist called the girl’s mother about the incident, she asked if anyone called 911.

“The receptionist replied that there was no reason to call 911 and that the school did not usually make calls to 911,” the suit says.


According to the suit, the mother then asked to speak with the school nurse about the incident and why help wasn’t called. The nurse became upset toward the mother and said there was no reason to call anyone, the suit said.

After getting off the phone with the nurse, the girl’s mother made a call to 911 herself, and paramedics arrived at the school around the same time she did, the lawsuit said

The suit goes on to say that the school nurse was upset with the arrival of the paramedics but that they told the mother she did the right thing in calling them.

Nguyen writes for Times Community News.