A Glendale Unified student claims she fainted and busted open her chin in 2017 after suffering from heat and exhaustion during a rehearsal for a school recital and is now suing the district for general negligence.
According to a copy of the civil complaint, which was filed by her father against the Glendale Unified School District in Los Angeles County Superior Court on Tuesday, the girl suffered a brain injury from fainting and had to get 16 stitches to close up the wound on her chin.
The lawsuit seeks compensatory and punitive damages from the district for the emotional and physical injuries caused by the fall and to cover any future medical expenses.
A district spokeswoman said the district has not yet been served with the suit and couldn’t comment any further.
Prior to the incident, the girl was rehearsing with other students enrolled in Benjamin Franklin Elementary School’s Italian dual-language immersion program on Dec. 8, 2017, for an upcoming Christmas holiday recital.
The complaint alleges 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 complaint, one student even asked if it was possible to sit down when they were not rehearsing, but a teacher “replied with a quick ‘no,’” and no form of relief was provided to the children.
“Shortly after, [the plaintiff] fainted and fell forward down the steps on the stage and landed face first, cutting open her chin,” the suit states.
The lawsuit claims that one teacher ran to the student and shouted for someone to call 911; however, no one contacted emergency services.
Instead, when the student regained consciousness, she was taken to the school’s front office to wait for her mother.
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,” according to the complaint.
The mother then asked to speak with the school nurse about the incident and why help wasn’t called. According to the suit, the nurse became upset toward the mother and said there was no reason to call anyone.
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 states.
The suit goes on to state that the school nurse was upset with the arrival of the paramedics; however, they told the mother she did the right thing in calling them.