Grossmont Union hires investigator for ‘prompt and thorough’ review of Valhalla High altercation

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EL CAJON, Calif. – The Grossmont Union High School District has hired an independent investigator to examine an Aug. 31 incident where a campus supervisor broke up a fight between two students at Valhalla High School, district officials said Thursday.

It comes after justice advocates this week called on the district to fire the supervisor after widely-shared video on social media shows him restraining a female student. The supervisor, who has not been publicly identified by the district, was placed on paid administrative leave last week while the district said it was investigating his conduct in the incident.

In a video statement released Thursday, Superintendent Theresa Kemper said the district hired Dominic Quiller of the Los Angeles-based firm McCune-Harbor to oversee the investigation.

“We have complete confidence in Mr. Quiller’s ability to accomplish the important task of a prompt and thorough investigation into this matter,” Kemper said. “For our part, I restate our District’s commitment to appropriate action once we have the results of the review.”

On Tuesday, Shane Harris, president of the People’s Association of Justice Advocates, compared the widely shared social media imagery of the supervisor’s actions to the 2020 police killing of Minneapolis man George Floyd.

Speaking in a press conference, Harris said he can’t understand “why this supervisor felt it was necessary to literally wrap his arms around this girl and literally slam her to the ground the way he did.” Revealing that the student is part of the foster care system, he said the event has traumatized her.

“I don’t care if he had his knee on her neck or near her neck for 15 seconds — it shouldn’t have happened for one second,” Harris said. “It was inappropriate and is something that should never happen by a school official.”

Kemper noted in Thursday’s release the district has “opened our doors” to meetings with community leaders, including with the People’s Association of Justice Advocates and the NAACP.

“And we’ll continue to listen, and be open, as this process proceeds,” Kemper said.

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