.Second Claim Filed in Aptos High Stabbing

Pajaro Valley Unified School District is facing a second lawsuit stemming from the stabbing death of a 17-year-old student on the campus of Aptos High School last August.

The student, referred to in the claim as G.S., died after being attacked by two students, one of whom had a violent history about which authorities have said the district was aware.

The boy’s parents filed a claim in December, claiming the district was negligent in both keeping the suspect in school and by ending its School Resource Officer program, which placed police officers on campus.

The second claim, dated Jan. 18, was filed by the boy’s sister, Alexa Aguilar, who was about 10 minutes late to pick him up from school on the day of the attack.

When she arrived soon after it occurred, she saw her brother staggering toward her, looking pale and appearing to be in a “cold sweat,” according to a filing by attorney Charles “Tony” Piccuta.

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“Alexa observed no PVUSD staff presence in the area nor in the parking lot,” the filing states.

Aguilar called 911 and asked a nearby parent to get help. Campus security soon arrived, as did a school nurse, whose only help was to tell G.S. to lie flat, Piccuta claims.

As with the previous claim, Piccuta says that the district was aware of recent incidents of on-campus violence involving one of the suspects, referred to in the claim as K.O., who was already on probation for a violent crime—and who had also pulled a knife on another student weeks before the attack. The district was also aware, Picccuta says, of increasing incidents of violence after the SRO program ended.

“PVUSD and District personnel breached this duty in that they provided ineffective and/or a total lack of supervision of students while on Aptos High campus during school hours,” the filing states.

Legally, plaintiffs must serve a claim before filing a lawsuit. PVUSD has 45 days to respond.

“The claim was received and will be discussed by the Board at their next meeting,” PVUSD spokeswoman Alicia Jimenez said. 

The board canceled the SRO program in July 2020 after community members and students said that having a law enforcement officer on campus was intimidating and the wrong way to deal with at-risk students.

After the attack, however, the August incident, the board reversed its decision.

SROs have since returned to Watsonville and Aptos high schools.

Authorities say both suspects are thought to be involved with criminal street gangs. K.O. has been charged with murder. The other suspect is facing assault charges. Both also face gang enhancements.

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