Caught on camera: Teens claim they were attacked for being gay

A fight at East Bakersfield High School on Oct. 19, 2017, left at least two girls suspended. Their parents claim they were defending themselves and were targeted because of their sexual orientation. 

Video of a fight Thursday at East Bakersfield High School is being shared on social media.

Anais Ortega and Kayla Cruz are freshmen at the school. They can be seen in the video getting hit by another student, who is on top of them.

Another girl is seen in one of the videos pulling their hair.

Anais Ortega and Cruz are dating and claim they were attacked because of their sexual orientation.

"She grabbed Kayla from behind and was just socking her. We didn't hit first. It was just unexpected," Anais Ortega said.

The girls said they were walking to class when they got attacked. They said they then kicked back as self-defense.

"I think any person in their right mind would do the same thing," said Mayra Gutierrez Ortega, Anais' mother.

The two teens said they know the girl who hit them. They said they all went to middle school together and have had fights in the past.

Gutierrez Ortega said her daughter was bullied and picked on in middle school because she is gay.

Anais Ortega said a group of girls would call her offensive names, and the girl who was hitting them in the video would laugh.

"They make me feel uncomfortable," Anais Ortega said. "It's like a joke to them."

"I told her, 'Mija, you're not different. You're my daughter. You are still a human. You still have feelings. You hurt. If they attack you, I hurt. This is not right,'" Gutierrez Ortega said.

Gutierrez Ortega said after middle school, her daughter went to Valley Oaks. She said this week her daughter transferred to East High thinking it would be a better fit for her and a fresh start.

Both Ortega and Cruz were suspended for a few days because of the fight. They are both allowed to return to school next week but said they do not feel it is a safe environment.

"I'm in disbelief," Gutierrez Ortega said. "They said she's being suspended because she assaulted the girl by kicking her off her. That's not called assault, I think that's self-defense."

Gutierrez Ortega said school officials did not contact her when her daughter was suspended. She said she found out when she got home.

She said it was only later the dean of the school called her with the news.

"The only thing he apologized for was not calling me," she said. "I feel like they're trying to brush it under the carpet. I want them to step up. I want them to take responsibility. I want them to do their job."

The Kern High School District and EBHS administration sent Eyewitness News this statement about the incident:

The behavior exhibited in the video is unacceptable. Our high schools make great efforts to teach our students to behave with respect for others and to resolve conflicts without engaging in physical altercations. However, when students breach the boundaries of unacceptable behavior, District administrators respond by holding students accountable for their actions, implementing appropriate student discipline as prescribed by the Education Code and District policies, as well as providing supports to affected students. This incident is part of an ongoing investigation that began yesterday. Appropriate student discipline has been issued to this point in the investigation. The KHSD investigates all incidents on campus. The discipline depends on the severity of the case and the individual circumstances as they apply to the Education Code. The KHSD does not comment on specific student discipline cases due to FERPA laws protecting the individual privacy rights of the students.

It is not confirmed what disciplinary action was taken against the girl in the video who is seen hitting the two.

Gutierrez Ortega said she plans to press charges against the girl.

As of Friday, Eyewitness News was not able to reach her or her family for comment.

The two videos shown are the only videos that have been shared of this fight so far.

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