(Daily Caller) – The family of a Bethune Middle School student with autism is calling for the California superintendent’s office to look into a death hoax involving their son, KLTA5 reports.
Eighth grader Jamari Baker’s family said the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) “failed to act” after a fake shrine claiming their son was killed in a South Los Angeles gang shooting was displayed at his middle school, KLTA5 reported Feb. 16. The mock memorial used a photo of Baker smiling when he was younger and said, “RIP Jamari Baker we will miss you,” along with a display of fruit and candles, according to the outlet.
Baker and his mother, Sophia Davis, joined other family members and community leaders at a press conference Thursday demanding an investigation into the event, calling it an “insensitive hoax,” KLTA5 reported.
“It’s very troubling and disturbing that Bethune Middle School Principal Sharon Brown has failed to act into addressing this issue properly,” Davis said at the press conference, according to the outlet. “This memorial hoax has been very traumatic for my son and our family remembers [sic] as we’re continued [sic] to be concerned for his safety.”
GSN-The family of Jamari Baker, a 13-year-old 8th-grade autistic student at Bethune Middle School in South Central, Los Angeles, along with civil rights activist Najee Ali are calling for a state investigation into a hoax memorial shrine of Jamari Baker. pic.twitter.com/S66KdLGV5K
— HJ (Hank) Ellison (@hjtherealj) February 17, 2023
Davis said her son has the intellectual abilities of an 8-year-old and doesn’t understand why the fake memorial was set up claiming he died, KTLA5 reported. She said she now is starting to homeschool Baker because he allegedly fears for his life and is too scared to go to school. Baker was seen crying at one point during the conference, according to the outlet.
Baker’s family and other community members reportedly want Bethune Middle School to install cameras in the hallways to better monitor bullying on campus.
LAUSD released a statement Thursday assuring families that the safety of both students and employees is a top priority for the district, according to the outlet.
“Any threat on campus–alleged or otherwise–is taken seriously, and each incident is fully investigated by our law enforcement partners. Los Angeles Unified does not condone any type of misconduct in our schools. Bethune Middle School and Los Angeles Unified are committed to providing a safe and nurturing learning environment for all students,” LAUSD said, KTLA5 reported.
“We also are offering full support and campus resources to this student and family to assist in this situation,” the district added, according to the outlet.