News

Social media video shows altercation involving Pleasanton Middle School students outside city library

Police, school district confirm incident but decline specifics due to juvenile confidentiality

A video posted to social media of a girl, later identified as a Pleasanton Middle School student, punching and stomping on the head of another student was taken in front of the Pleasanton Public Library on Jan. 19, according to Pleasanton police Lt. Erik Silacci.

Screengrab from video of altercation outside the Pleasanton Public Library on Jan. 19. (Contributed photo)

"We are currently investigating this incident and working with Pleasanton Unified School officials," Silacci said. "However, due to confidentiality laws protecting juveniles, we cannot provide further details."

PUSD director of communications Patrick Gannon said the student who was assaulted -- also a Pleasanton Middle School student -- was taken to seek medical care but he could not confirm or share the injuries sustained by the student because the incident took place off campus.

Silacci said that in cases such as fights, there could be police and school consequences depending on the student's ages but noted that people under the age of 14 are generally not arrested per California Penal Code.

"The goal of the juvenile justice system is to focus on rehabilitation," Silacci said.

Help sustain the local news you depend on.

Your contribution matters. Become a member today.

Join

He added that Pleasanton Middle School administrators are also investigating the case as the school has jurisdiction over their students from the time they leave school until they get home. The city library is located across the street from the middle school.

"Pleasanton Middle School administration has been in contact with both families to provide support," Gannon said. "Principal (Joe) Nguyen communicated with the community following the incident in addition to sharing information with students in classrooms to address and educate our zero tolerance for physical altercations and productive ways that the school community can foster a safe and healthy learning environment for all students."

Gannon told the Weekly that while the district can't comment on individual student discipline, they do have administrative regulations on student discipline which includes discussion or conference between school staff, the student and parents; counseling support; and individual educational programs related to restorative justice.

The district can also provide anger management, social and emotional learning programs and after-school programs that address specific behavioral issues.

But Ghezal Beliakoff, who posted the video of the altercation on Nextdoor, told the Weekly that this has been an ongoing issue with a group of students at the middle school and that more needs to be done.

"My daughter is a seventh grader and she's afraid to go to the bathroom at her school because she's afraid that they're going to jump her," Beliakoff said. "She's not the only one. Kids are afraid every day at PMS for their lives. I mean, we live in Pleasanton. These kids should not be afraid (for) their lives, right?"

Beliakoff, who saw the video after her daughter showed it to her, said she pressed for charges after the instigator of the fight was identified so other students would learn that there are consequences to their actions. She said she hopes other students won't stand by and let something like this happen again.

"There's so many aspects of how disturbing this is," she said regarding the video of the altercation. "It's the kids. It's this girl attacking. It's the dozens of kids that are high-fiving, cheering her on, videotaping. It's so disturbing."

Stay informed

Get daily headlines sent straight to your inbox in our Express newsletter.

Stay informed

Get daily headlines sent straight to your inbox in our Express newsletter.

Christian Trujano
 
Christian Trujano, a Bay Area native and San Jose State alum, joined Embarcadero Media in May 2022 following his graduation. He is an award-winning student journalist who has covered stories in San Jose ranging from crime to higher education. Read more >>

Follow DanvilleSanRamon.com on Twitter @DanvilleSanRamo, Facebook and on Instagram @ for breaking news, local events, photos, videos and more.

Stay informed on important crime news. Sign up for our FREE daily Express newsletter.

Social media video shows altercation involving Pleasanton Middle School students outside city library

Police, school district confirm incident but decline specifics due to juvenile confidentiality

by / Pleasanton Weekly

Uploaded: Tue, Jan 24, 2023, 10:09 pm

A video posted to social media of a girl, later identified as a Pleasanton Middle School student, punching and stomping on the head of another student was taken in front of the Pleasanton Public Library on Jan. 19, according to Pleasanton police Lt. Erik Silacci.

"We are currently investigating this incident and working with Pleasanton Unified School officials," Silacci said. "However, due to confidentiality laws protecting juveniles, we cannot provide further details."

PUSD director of communications Patrick Gannon said the student who was assaulted -- also a Pleasanton Middle School student -- was taken to seek medical care but he could not confirm or share the injuries sustained by the student because the incident took place off campus.

Silacci said that in cases such as fights, there could be police and school consequences depending on the student's ages but noted that people under the age of 14 are generally not arrested per California Penal Code.

"The goal of the juvenile justice system is to focus on rehabilitation," Silacci said.

He added that Pleasanton Middle School administrators are also investigating the case as the school has jurisdiction over their students from the time they leave school until they get home. The city library is located across the street from the middle school.

"Pleasanton Middle School administration has been in contact with both families to provide support," Gannon said. "Principal (Joe) Nguyen communicated with the community following the incident in addition to sharing information with students in classrooms to address and educate our zero tolerance for physical altercations and productive ways that the school community can foster a safe and healthy learning environment for all students."

Gannon told the Weekly that while the district can't comment on individual student discipline, they do have administrative regulations on student discipline which includes discussion or conference between school staff, the student and parents; counseling support; and individual educational programs related to restorative justice.

The district can also provide anger management, social and emotional learning programs and after-school programs that address specific behavioral issues.

But Ghezal Beliakoff, who posted the video of the altercation on Nextdoor, told the Weekly that this has been an ongoing issue with a group of students at the middle school and that more needs to be done.

"My daughter is a seventh grader and she's afraid to go to the bathroom at her school because she's afraid that they're going to jump her," Beliakoff said. "She's not the only one. Kids are afraid every day at PMS for their lives. I mean, we live in Pleasanton. These kids should not be afraid (for) their lives, right?"

Beliakoff, who saw the video after her daughter showed it to her, said she pressed for charges after the instigator of the fight was identified so other students would learn that there are consequences to their actions. She said she hopes other students won't stand by and let something like this happen again.

"There's so many aspects of how disturbing this is," she said regarding the video of the altercation. "It's the kids. It's this girl attacking. It's the dozens of kids that are high-fiving, cheering her on, videotaping. It's so disturbing."

Comments

There are no comments yet. Please share yours below.

Post a comment

In order to encourage respectful and thoughtful discussion, commenting on stories is available to those who are registered users. If you are already a registered user and the commenting form is not below, you need to log in. If you are not registered, you can do so here.

Please make sure your comments are truthful, on-topic and do not disrespect another poster. Don't be snarky or belittling. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

See our announcement about requiring registration for commenting.