An Edison High School senior was sent to the hospital Thursday night after she was attacked while walking around campus during a break from her Academic Decathlon practice.
Diana Valle said her daughter, 17-year-old senior Azure Lopez, was attacked by another girl on a bicycle around 7:40 p.m. Lopez did not recognize her assailant.
“(The suspect) tried stealing her phone and taking the money out of her pockets,” Valle said. “Then she knocked her down, dragged her by her hair and punched her repeatedly in the head. Some people (who were with the attacker) told her to ‘come on,’ so she got off of (Lopez) and kicked her in the head.”
Lopez still had her phone, so she called 911. After police arrived, they called Valle. The emergency medical technicians told Valle to take her daughter to the hospital as a precaution. Lopez’s eyeball was scratched. Her optic nerve swelled up, and she has a nasty bruise under her eye.
Valle said she was upset with the district for not keeping security or Edison’s school resource officer on campus while students were present. The Academic Decathlon’s adviser was present at the practice.
“They know students are there,” she said. “There were also kids practicing on the track. But they rely on the teachers to watch the students and report any security issues.”
Valle said Edison Principal Lindsay Sanders called her Friday morning to apologize and check on Lopez, who should be back in school Monday. She said the principal told her that the school’s resource officer only stays later than 6 p.m. for football games and similar school events. Late-night practices do not count.
The Academic Decathlon team recently added a few hours to its practice schedule to prepare for the state championship, Valle said. Lopez and her teammates now practice from 3 to 9 p.m.
Fresno Unified School District spokeswoman Jessica Baird confirmed the assault, saying it occurred after Edison’s campus security team left at 6 p.m. She added that district staff and Fresno police were unable to find the suspect.
“The safety of our students is our top priority,” Baird said, “and last night’s incident serves as a reminder for us all how important it is to walk with others, especially at night.”
Valle said she hoped her daughter’s attack served as a warning to parents about their students’ safety during on-campus co-curricular activities. Her daughter is a good student, she added, who is taking five Advanced Placement courses this year and has never been in any sort of trouble with the school.