Malibu Teacher Slaps Black Student, District gets Sued
Last May, an English teacher at Malibu High School slapped a black student four times because she forgot her binder at home. Now the student, Dionne Evans, is suing Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District.
According to the lawsuit, the 15 year old was was the only Black student in her grade at the school and the teacher who slapped her, Jennifer Gonzalez, had a “history of violent attacks.”
Media reports say that Gonzalez claimed that when she slapped her student, she was actually acting out a scene from the movie “Bridemaids”. In the movie scene, one character slaps another to smack some sense into her.
The lawsuit was filed in Superior Court and not only names Gonzalez, but also Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District and school principal, Mark Kelly.
Evans is seeking medical costs and general, punitive and exemplary damages for battery, assault, negligence, negligent supervision, violation of civil rights, public school discrimination, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligent infliction of emotional distress, defamation, libel and slander, and corporal punishment.
The complaint states,
“Gonzalez came over to plaintiff’s desk and said ‘You probably don’t even have a binder. Plaintiff repeated to Gonzalez that her binder was at home. Gonzalez then told plaintiff that she needed to ‘get her life together’ and to ‘straighten up.’ Gonzalez asked plaintiff if she had seen the movie ‘Bridesmaids.’ Gonzalez then slapped plaintiff hard several times across her face, at least four times. Plaintiff’s face hurt from the blows. Plaintiff repeated that her binder was at home.”
Evans claims to have been very humiliated by the teacher and reacted by putting her head down and avoiding eye contact with everyone in the classroom because of embarrassment.
According to the suit, Gonzalez has a “history of physically striking her students, ” citing another incident from 16 years back when Gonzalez threw a bottle of soda at a male student, hitting him in the g******s. The teacher is said to have yelled at the male student telling him, ‘Get the f**k out of my class and go to the nurse’s office.’
After Evans complained, Gonzalez was not reprimanded but she did write an apology letter. According to Evans, the school district rejected her claim for damages.