Central Regional Failed Pleas for Help From Star Athlete Over Bullying and Physical Assault

BERKELEY: Jayla Hahn was a star athlete at Central Regional High School. Jayla wrestled for CRHS in her freshman, sophomore and Junior years of high school. She brought home state championships to CRHS. She proudly represented her school.

As a sophomore Jayla suffered a serious injury to her shoulder which required surgery and she was placed in an immobilization sling to protect her shoulder while recovering. Jayla returned to school shortly after her surgery in a sling while she continued to recover. A week after returning to school with her arm immobile she was jumped in the cafeteria by several girls. As the girls approached and began to torment her Jayla tried to protect herself by reasoning with her soon to be attackers by telling them she was in no position to fight. Suddenly the one aggressor snatched her by the hair and pulled her to the ground and repeatedly kicked her and punched her in the back of the head. The attackers sister then joined in and jumped on Jayla. They continued to beat her dragging her across the cafeteria. There was three other girls present at the time, one recorded the attack up close and the two other girls was at the exit doors to the cafeteria recording from alternate angles.

Multiple teachers were present and witnessed it. There was a police officer who was supposed to be present as well but when Jayla’s mother questioned his lack of involvement she was told he must have been in the bathroom. Students took action to break up the fight before teachers or the officer did anything.

After the horrific beating Jayla called her mother hysterical and Dora went to the school immediately. Dora was advised by school officials that her daughter was being suspended for ten days for fighting. Dora could not comprehend how they could suspend her daughter for fighting when she had one arm in a sling that was also tied around her waist completely immobilizing one arm.

Dora took her daughter for emergency care and thankfully her shoulder was not further damaged but she was suffering a concussion from the repeated blows to the head. Dora reported these injuries to the administrators at the school and demanded that these attackers be expelled. She was advised they were part of the “Choice” program for education. This allows students from other districts to come into the district to have greater opportunities for education. There are strict requirements to be a part of this program and to continue to remain in the program. Her pleas unfortunately fell on deaf ears.

Jayla confronts the school board and Dr. P at a school board meeting.

The bullying continued with the videos appearing on social media and posts. The attackers continued the torture by sending Jayla text messages which Dora provided copies to the superintendent and nothing was done. The school continued to fail Jayla to the point Jayla was forced to transfer to another school which was not as simple as it sounds. It was very involved and required very difficult decisions to be made.

Dora attempted to address the bullying incident at the board of education meeting and was silenced being told that it was a “personal” matter. Her daughter then approached and faced the board to plea for awareness and help.

Dora has been forced for the safety of her children to pay to send another high school aged child to Donovan Catholic and Jayla is now in Southern where she is flourishing once again. Jayla is touring colleges and has been offered scholarships and will be continuing her education.

This story has a happy ending but as we know not all of these stories do. This district needs to be held accountable. Why should Jayla have been forced out of her district with all of her friends and peers while out of district students on a privileged program were allowed to stay? Why is Dora forced to pay for private education just to keep her child safe?


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