New Revelations in the Fischer Harassment Case

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In the latest in what now has to be described as an escalating situation at Harper Junior High School, we saw this mention in the “Brieflies” in the January 3, 2007 Davis Enterprise:

Davis police cited two 13-year-old Harper Junior High students Tuesday — one on suspicion of assault, the other for allegedly possessing drugs.

Officers were first called to the East Covell Boulevard campus shortly after 1:30 p.m. after one of the boys entered a classroom and attempted to strike a student, nearly hitting a school employee who tried to stop him, Lt. Colleen Turay said. The Davis boy was cited on suspicion of assault and released to a parent.

About an hour later, a school administrator received information that another 13-year-old allegedly was in possession of marijuana on school grounds. The administrator confronted the boy, who turned over a plastic baggie containing the drug, Turay said.

Police again responded to the campus, and the boy, a Woodland resident, was cited and released with a notice to appear in court.

What the “Brieflies” do not mention is the connection between this event and the ongoing harassment at Harper Junior High School

This incident involved the second victim who came forward after Zach Fischer and his father Guy Fischer complained about a string of continuing harassments.

The second victim reported the problem to the administration and according to anonymous sources, the administration once again did not take this situation seriously. However, they would eventually follow up with some of the victim’s friends that had witnessed the new round of harassment. Upon the administration receiving confirmation from the victim’s friends they proceeded to suspend the harasser.

However, they sent the student home without the parents being present. So the student returned to the school site and waited at the classroom door where the victim was until the end of class. When the class ended, the student proceeded to attack the victim once again.

A female teacher, alertly noticing what was about to take place, stepped in between the victim and the harasser to prevent the student from harming the victim. The harasser then struck the teacher (reportedly in the stomach). Several other faculty members intervened and the police were called.

In addition to the assault, there was another student (may or may not involved in the initial incident) that was in possession of drugs. The police interviewed this student and discovered a small bag containing marijuana.

Once again, the school district appeared slow to respond to what quickly became a very serious and dangerous incident. It was not until the teacher was actually physically struck before they actually called the police. In addition, this situation was created because they sent the offending minor home without parental supervision. The district is now reportedly in the process of expelling the offending student.

This incident further validates the fears that the Fischer family has that their son is not safe returning to school. At this point, their son is receiving in-home tutoring. The family has now made the decision that their son will not be safe returning to school. Part of their pending lawsuit in federal court will be for compensation for their son having to go to a private school rather than attending public school in Davis.

Originally, one of the reasons the second family withheld their name was to enable their son to remain in school. However, after this most recent incident, they too have pulled their son from school. Neither student will be returning to the Davis Joint Unified School District anytime soon.

—Doug Paul Davis reporting

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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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44 thoughts on “New Revelations in the Fischer Harassment Case”

  1. Anonymous

    Actually, it sounds like the school did a pretty good job in this case. Perhaps they should have detained the suspended child until his parents arrived – the unsupervised release is a concern. However, they did take action and they did protect the children. The teacher certainly did a good job.
    I do not understand how the pot incident relates to the rest of this story. I know there are drug issues in Davis schools because there are drug issues in all middle schools. This is an issue that should get more attention, but probably has little to do with the harassment case. SAH

  2. Anonymous

    Actually, it sounds like the school did a pretty good job in this case. Perhaps they should have detained the suspended child until his parents arrived – the unsupervised release is a concern. However, they did take action and they did protect the children. The teacher certainly did a good job.
    I do not understand how the pot incident relates to the rest of this story. I know there are drug issues in Davis schools because there are drug issues in all middle schools. This is an issue that should get more attention, but probably has little to do with the harassment case. SAH

  3. Anonymous

    Actually, it sounds like the school did a pretty good job in this case. Perhaps they should have detained the suspended child until his parents arrived – the unsupervised release is a concern. However, they did take action and they did protect the children. The teacher certainly did a good job.
    I do not understand how the pot incident relates to the rest of this story. I know there are drug issues in Davis schools because there are drug issues in all middle schools. This is an issue that should get more attention, but probably has little to do with the harassment case. SAH

  4. Anonymous

    Actually, it sounds like the school did a pretty good job in this case. Perhaps they should have detained the suspended child until his parents arrived – the unsupervised release is a concern. However, they did take action and they did protect the children. The teacher certainly did a good job.
    I do not understand how the pot incident relates to the rest of this story. I know there are drug issues in Davis schools because there are drug issues in all middle schools. This is an issue that should get more attention, but probably has little to do with the harassment case. SAH

  5. Doug Paul Davis

    Sah:

    In my opinion, the teacher and the other staff members did a good job to prevent the student from getting injured. The teacher stepping in harm’s way was down right heroic and she should be commended for her actions.

    The pot incident happened concurrently, since the police report mentioned it, I brought up what I knew about it, but you are probably right that it does not relate.

    But my concern remains the fact that they released a suspended student home without his parents being there. Geez, I don’t know what current policies are like, but when I was a student, I could not even go home without parents when I was sick.

    And this was the same kid apparently involved in both the Fischer case previously and this second case, at least that was my understanding. The school district did not handle this situation and it blew it up. And they blame the Fischer kid for it when it is very obvious that this other kid has a lot of problems that were not adequately dealt with by the district.

  6. Doug Paul Davis

    Sah:

    In my opinion, the teacher and the other staff members did a good job to prevent the student from getting injured. The teacher stepping in harm’s way was down right heroic and she should be commended for her actions.

    The pot incident happened concurrently, since the police report mentioned it, I brought up what I knew about it, but you are probably right that it does not relate.

    But my concern remains the fact that they released a suspended student home without his parents being there. Geez, I don’t know what current policies are like, but when I was a student, I could not even go home without parents when I was sick.

    And this was the same kid apparently involved in both the Fischer case previously and this second case, at least that was my understanding. The school district did not handle this situation and it blew it up. And they blame the Fischer kid for it when it is very obvious that this other kid has a lot of problems that were not adequately dealt with by the district.

  7. Doug Paul Davis

    Sah:

    In my opinion, the teacher and the other staff members did a good job to prevent the student from getting injured. The teacher stepping in harm’s way was down right heroic and she should be commended for her actions.

    The pot incident happened concurrently, since the police report mentioned it, I brought up what I knew about it, but you are probably right that it does not relate.

    But my concern remains the fact that they released a suspended student home without his parents being there. Geez, I don’t know what current policies are like, but when I was a student, I could not even go home without parents when I was sick.

    And this was the same kid apparently involved in both the Fischer case previously and this second case, at least that was my understanding. The school district did not handle this situation and it blew it up. And they blame the Fischer kid for it when it is very obvious that this other kid has a lot of problems that were not adequately dealt with by the district.

  8. Doug Paul Davis

    Sah:

    In my opinion, the teacher and the other staff members did a good job to prevent the student from getting injured. The teacher stepping in harm’s way was down right heroic and she should be commended for her actions.

    The pot incident happened concurrently, since the police report mentioned it, I brought up what I knew about it, but you are probably right that it does not relate.

    But my concern remains the fact that they released a suspended student home without his parents being there. Geez, I don’t know what current policies are like, but when I was a student, I could not even go home without parents when I was sick.

    And this was the same kid apparently involved in both the Fischer case previously and this second case, at least that was my understanding. The school district did not handle this situation and it blew it up. And they blame the Fischer kid for it when it is very obvious that this other kid has a lot of problems that were not adequately dealt with by the district.

  9. Anonymous

    I agree, there has to be a better way to handle kids suspended in the middle of the day like that. I would think the school would be liable if something happened to a kid released like that. If they can not handle the situation then maybe they should arrange for the DPD to baby sit the kid until the parents arrive.
    It also shounds like the parents are not getting the message or do not care, since this kid is getting involved in multible fights and is out of control. SAH

  10. Anonymous

    I agree, there has to be a better way to handle kids suspended in the middle of the day like that. I would think the school would be liable if something happened to a kid released like that. If they can not handle the situation then maybe they should arrange for the DPD to baby sit the kid until the parents arrive.
    It also shounds like the parents are not getting the message or do not care, since this kid is getting involved in multible fights and is out of control. SAH

  11. Anonymous

    I agree, there has to be a better way to handle kids suspended in the middle of the day like that. I would think the school would be liable if something happened to a kid released like that. If they can not handle the situation then maybe they should arrange for the DPD to baby sit the kid until the parents arrive.
    It also shounds like the parents are not getting the message or do not care, since this kid is getting involved in multible fights and is out of control. SAH

  12. Anonymous

    I agree, there has to be a better way to handle kids suspended in the middle of the day like that. I would think the school would be liable if something happened to a kid released like that. If they can not handle the situation then maybe they should arrange for the DPD to baby sit the kid until the parents arrive.
    It also shounds like the parents are not getting the message or do not care, since this kid is getting involved in multible fights and is out of control. SAH

  13. Anonymous

    I was suspended at Emerson Junior High back in the 1970’s for smoking in the bathroom. I was held in the office until a parent arrived to collect me, which in that case was after work at 5:00 pm. It was a very long day.

    It is not clear from your post if the student was suspended and the parent left the child at home unattended, or the school sent the child away without contacting the parent. I suspect it is the former.

    Thank God that this angry student did not have access to a weapon!

    I think the teacher did an admirable job placing herself between the students and protecting the victim. She is a hero.

    Harper just had another incident of fighting yesterday with the police called and a 15 year old boy arrested.

    I seem to recall that the Healthy Kids survey showed that a large number of kids in our schools had experienced harrassment and felt unsafe in our schools. It is time for the Davis community to wake up and move past the denial stage, move past the anger stage (get Murphy!), and start being responsible for what we are doing to our kids in this town.

    What real help do both of the children need? What real help do both of the families need? What real help do the teachers of Harper (and Davis schools) need? This is what we should be asking ourselves.

    (Aside: Shouldn’t the Human Relations Commission get moving on educating the community before we have another fatality at one of our schools?)

  14. Anonymous

    I was suspended at Emerson Junior High back in the 1970’s for smoking in the bathroom. I was held in the office until a parent arrived to collect me, which in that case was after work at 5:00 pm. It was a very long day.

    It is not clear from your post if the student was suspended and the parent left the child at home unattended, or the school sent the child away without contacting the parent. I suspect it is the former.

    Thank God that this angry student did not have access to a weapon!

    I think the teacher did an admirable job placing herself between the students and protecting the victim. She is a hero.

    Harper just had another incident of fighting yesterday with the police called and a 15 year old boy arrested.

    I seem to recall that the Healthy Kids survey showed that a large number of kids in our schools had experienced harrassment and felt unsafe in our schools. It is time for the Davis community to wake up and move past the denial stage, move past the anger stage (get Murphy!), and start being responsible for what we are doing to our kids in this town.

    What real help do both of the children need? What real help do both of the families need? What real help do the teachers of Harper (and Davis schools) need? This is what we should be asking ourselves.

    (Aside: Shouldn’t the Human Relations Commission get moving on educating the community before we have another fatality at one of our schools?)

  15. Anonymous

    I was suspended at Emerson Junior High back in the 1970’s for smoking in the bathroom. I was held in the office until a parent arrived to collect me, which in that case was after work at 5:00 pm. It was a very long day.

    It is not clear from your post if the student was suspended and the parent left the child at home unattended, or the school sent the child away without contacting the parent. I suspect it is the former.

    Thank God that this angry student did not have access to a weapon!

    I think the teacher did an admirable job placing herself between the students and protecting the victim. She is a hero.

    Harper just had another incident of fighting yesterday with the police called and a 15 year old boy arrested.

    I seem to recall that the Healthy Kids survey showed that a large number of kids in our schools had experienced harrassment and felt unsafe in our schools. It is time for the Davis community to wake up and move past the denial stage, move past the anger stage (get Murphy!), and start being responsible for what we are doing to our kids in this town.

    What real help do both of the children need? What real help do both of the families need? What real help do the teachers of Harper (and Davis schools) need? This is what we should be asking ourselves.

    (Aside: Shouldn’t the Human Relations Commission get moving on educating the community before we have another fatality at one of our schools?)

  16. Anonymous

    I was suspended at Emerson Junior High back in the 1970’s for smoking in the bathroom. I was held in the office until a parent arrived to collect me, which in that case was after work at 5:00 pm. It was a very long day.

    It is not clear from your post if the student was suspended and the parent left the child at home unattended, or the school sent the child away without contacting the parent. I suspect it is the former.

    Thank God that this angry student did not have access to a weapon!

    I think the teacher did an admirable job placing herself between the students and protecting the victim. She is a hero.

    Harper just had another incident of fighting yesterday with the police called and a 15 year old boy arrested.

    I seem to recall that the Healthy Kids survey showed that a large number of kids in our schools had experienced harrassment and felt unsafe in our schools. It is time for the Davis community to wake up and move past the denial stage, move past the anger stage (get Murphy!), and start being responsible for what we are doing to our kids in this town.

    What real help do both of the children need? What real help do both of the families need? What real help do the teachers of Harper (and Davis schools) need? This is what we should be asking ourselves.

    (Aside: Shouldn’t the Human Relations Commission get moving on educating the community before we have another fatality at one of our schools?)

  17. Doug Paul Davis

    My understanding was that they sent the student home with no parental supervision.

    I agree, the teacher is to be absolutely commended for her actions.

    “Shouldn’t the Human Relations Commission get moving on educating the community before we have another fatality at one of our schools?”

    Hint. Hint.

  18. Doug Paul Davis

    My understanding was that they sent the student home with no parental supervision.

    I agree, the teacher is to be absolutely commended for her actions.

    “Shouldn’t the Human Relations Commission get moving on educating the community before we have another fatality at one of our schools?”

    Hint. Hint.

  19. Doug Paul Davis

    My understanding was that they sent the student home with no parental supervision.

    I agree, the teacher is to be absolutely commended for her actions.

    “Shouldn’t the Human Relations Commission get moving on educating the community before we have another fatality at one of our schools?”

    Hint. Hint.

  20. Doug Paul Davis

    My understanding was that they sent the student home with no parental supervision.

    I agree, the teacher is to be absolutely commended for her actions.

    “Shouldn’t the Human Relations Commission get moving on educating the community before we have another fatality at one of our schools?”

    Hint. Hint.

  21. Richard

    the impediment here is, the stereotype that “Davis is such a great place to raise kids”

    I live in Sacramento now, and I just about want to barf every time I hear it, precisely for reasons like this

    both have their problems, so, maybe we can dispense with the pretentiousness, the denial, and actually do what is necessary to make sure that kids can actually go to school

  22. Richard

    the impediment here is, the stereotype that “Davis is such a great place to raise kids”

    I live in Sacramento now, and I just about want to barf every time I hear it, precisely for reasons like this

    both have their problems, so, maybe we can dispense with the pretentiousness, the denial, and actually do what is necessary to make sure that kids can actually go to school

  23. Richard

    the impediment here is, the stereotype that “Davis is such a great place to raise kids”

    I live in Sacramento now, and I just about want to barf every time I hear it, precisely for reasons like this

    both have their problems, so, maybe we can dispense with the pretentiousness, the denial, and actually do what is necessary to make sure that kids can actually go to school

  24. Richard

    the impediment here is, the stereotype that “Davis is such a great place to raise kids”

    I live in Sacramento now, and I just about want to barf every time I hear it, precisely for reasons like this

    both have their problems, so, maybe we can dispense with the pretentiousness, the denial, and actually do what is necessary to make sure that kids can actually go to school

  25. Anonymous

    You might find it quite ‘timely’ that all employees of DJUSD are being required to attend this training. Coincidence?

    WHO: ALL STAFF (Teachers, Administration, Paraeducators, All Classified, etc.)

    WHAT: The DJUSD Attorney Eve Fichtner will present a mandatory training on “UNLAWFUL HARASSMENT AND DISCIPLINE.”

    Attendance sheets will be signed and put in individual employee folders, so if someone cannot make the time assigned to his/her site, he/she must attend another one of the trainings, listed below.

    Location of meeting, unless noted below, is up to the site administrator.

    WEDNESDAY JAN. 10 7:45-8:50 a.m. DA VINCI AND DHS, AT DHS in the MPR
    WEDNESDAY JAN. 17 8:10-9:20 a.m. HOLMES @ HOLMES
    WEDNESDAY JAN. 17 2:00-3:00 p.m. NDE, PIONEER, BIRCH LANE, KOREMATSU, WILLETT @ KOREMATSU MPR
    WEDNESDAY JAN. 24 8:10-9:20 a.m. HARPER @ HARPER
    TUESDAY JAN 30 3:30-4:30 p.m. KING HIGH AND DSIS @ E. CONF.RM, D.O.
    WEDNESDAY JAN 31 8:10-9:20 a.m. EMERSON @ EMERSON

  26. Anonymous

    You might find it quite ‘timely’ that all employees of DJUSD are being required to attend this training. Coincidence?

    WHO: ALL STAFF (Teachers, Administration, Paraeducators, All Classified, etc.)

    WHAT: The DJUSD Attorney Eve Fichtner will present a mandatory training on “UNLAWFUL HARASSMENT AND DISCIPLINE.”

    Attendance sheets will be signed and put in individual employee folders, so if someone cannot make the time assigned to his/her site, he/she must attend another one of the trainings, listed below.

    Location of meeting, unless noted below, is up to the site administrator.

    WEDNESDAY JAN. 10 7:45-8:50 a.m. DA VINCI AND DHS, AT DHS in the MPR
    WEDNESDAY JAN. 17 8:10-9:20 a.m. HOLMES @ HOLMES
    WEDNESDAY JAN. 17 2:00-3:00 p.m. NDE, PIONEER, BIRCH LANE, KOREMATSU, WILLETT @ KOREMATSU MPR
    WEDNESDAY JAN. 24 8:10-9:20 a.m. HARPER @ HARPER
    TUESDAY JAN 30 3:30-4:30 p.m. KING HIGH AND DSIS @ E. CONF.RM, D.O.
    WEDNESDAY JAN 31 8:10-9:20 a.m. EMERSON @ EMERSON

  27. Anonymous

    You might find it quite ‘timely’ that all employees of DJUSD are being required to attend this training. Coincidence?

    WHO: ALL STAFF (Teachers, Administration, Paraeducators, All Classified, etc.)

    WHAT: The DJUSD Attorney Eve Fichtner will present a mandatory training on “UNLAWFUL HARASSMENT AND DISCIPLINE.”

    Attendance sheets will be signed and put in individual employee folders, so if someone cannot make the time assigned to his/her site, he/she must attend another one of the trainings, listed below.

    Location of meeting, unless noted below, is up to the site administrator.

    WEDNESDAY JAN. 10 7:45-8:50 a.m. DA VINCI AND DHS, AT DHS in the MPR
    WEDNESDAY JAN. 17 8:10-9:20 a.m. HOLMES @ HOLMES
    WEDNESDAY JAN. 17 2:00-3:00 p.m. NDE, PIONEER, BIRCH LANE, KOREMATSU, WILLETT @ KOREMATSU MPR
    WEDNESDAY JAN. 24 8:10-9:20 a.m. HARPER @ HARPER
    TUESDAY JAN 30 3:30-4:30 p.m. KING HIGH AND DSIS @ E. CONF.RM, D.O.
    WEDNESDAY JAN 31 8:10-9:20 a.m. EMERSON @ EMERSON

  28. Anonymous

    You might find it quite ‘timely’ that all employees of DJUSD are being required to attend this training. Coincidence?

    WHO: ALL STAFF (Teachers, Administration, Paraeducators, All Classified, etc.)

    WHAT: The DJUSD Attorney Eve Fichtner will present a mandatory training on “UNLAWFUL HARASSMENT AND DISCIPLINE.”

    Attendance sheets will be signed and put in individual employee folders, so if someone cannot make the time assigned to his/her site, he/she must attend another one of the trainings, listed below.

    Location of meeting, unless noted below, is up to the site administrator.

    WEDNESDAY JAN. 10 7:45-8:50 a.m. DA VINCI AND DHS, AT DHS in the MPR
    WEDNESDAY JAN. 17 8:10-9:20 a.m. HOLMES @ HOLMES
    WEDNESDAY JAN. 17 2:00-3:00 p.m. NDE, PIONEER, BIRCH LANE, KOREMATSU, WILLETT @ KOREMATSU MPR
    WEDNESDAY JAN. 24 8:10-9:20 a.m. HARPER @ HARPER
    TUESDAY JAN 30 3:30-4:30 p.m. KING HIGH AND DSIS @ E. CONF.RM, D.O.
    WEDNESDAY JAN 31 8:10-9:20 a.m. EMERSON @ EMERSON

  29. Anonymous

    Regarding the training, all is well and good, but the question unanswered is, #1 whom is performing the training, #2 who is going to enforce the policy after training (themselves)?

    Their is already many regulations and ed codes which are to be utilized in prevention and non acceptance of these kinds of behavior and yet they have continued until one of their own was actually struck. Then all of a sudden the police come into play. Hmmmm

    The real issue is had they taken a serious stand in the initial, majority of this most probably would not be so serious today.

  30. Anonymous

    Regarding the training, all is well and good, but the question unanswered is, #1 whom is performing the training, #2 who is going to enforce the policy after training (themselves)?

    Their is already many regulations and ed codes which are to be utilized in prevention and non acceptance of these kinds of behavior and yet they have continued until one of their own was actually struck. Then all of a sudden the police come into play. Hmmmm

    The real issue is had they taken a serious stand in the initial, majority of this most probably would not be so serious today.

  31. Anonymous

    Regarding the training, all is well and good, but the question unanswered is, #1 whom is performing the training, #2 who is going to enforce the policy after training (themselves)?

    Their is already many regulations and ed codes which are to be utilized in prevention and non acceptance of these kinds of behavior and yet they have continued until one of their own was actually struck. Then all of a sudden the police come into play. Hmmmm

    The real issue is had they taken a serious stand in the initial, majority of this most probably would not be so serious today.

  32. Anonymous

    Regarding the training, all is well and good, but the question unanswered is, #1 whom is performing the training, #2 who is going to enforce the policy after training (themselves)?

    Their is already many regulations and ed codes which are to be utilized in prevention and non acceptance of these kinds of behavior and yet they have continued until one of their own was actually struck. Then all of a sudden the police come into play. Hmmmm

    The real issue is had they taken a serious stand in the initial, majority of this most probably would not be so serious today.

  33. Anonymous

    What is needed is SCHOOLWIDE training/awareness for not only staff but STUDENTS. Our children need to learn and be made more aware of what harrassment is and how it is perpetuated.

  34. Anonymous

    What is needed is SCHOOLWIDE training/awareness for not only staff but STUDENTS. Our children need to learn and be made more aware of what harrassment is and how it is perpetuated.

  35. Anonymous

    What is needed is SCHOOLWIDE training/awareness for not only staff but STUDENTS. Our children need to learn and be made more aware of what harrassment is and how it is perpetuated.

  36. Anonymous

    What is needed is SCHOOLWIDE training/awareness for not only staff but STUDENTS. Our children need to learn and be made more aware of what harrassment is and how it is perpetuated.

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