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LAW OFFICE OF MICI_IAEL J" PONCE
MICIIAEL J. PONCE, Esq,
sBN 120100
9663 E . Garvey Ave. Ste.126
1
J South El Monte, California 91733
Telephone: (626) 57 5-587 8
4 Facsimile : (888) 852-4047

Attomey for Plaintiffs


Robert Lopez III, by and through
his Guardian Ad Litem Robert Lopez II;
F,,
Nancy Lopez, individually
and Roberl Lopez II, individually

8
SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA
9
COLTNTY OF LOS ANGELES
10
ROBERT LOPEZ III, by and through caseNo. KC0694 59
11
his Guardian Ad Litem ROBERT LOPEZ II;
NANCY LOPEZ, individually and ROBERT COMPLAINT FOR:
,n 1)
NT LOPEZ II, individually,
:l oa 1. NEGLIGENCE
9
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L Plaintiffs, 2. NEGLIGENCE
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I4 3. NEGLIGENCE
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4. VIOLATION OF CIVL CODE $s2.1
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;o.Ti 15 5. NEGLIGENT HIRING,
-uv2 vs. SIIPERVISION and RETENTION
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=4::16 GABRIEL LOPEZ; HACIENDA LA PUENTE
-17 LTNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT, and DOES 1-25, CASE ASSIGNED FOR
Inclusive, AI-L PURPOSES TO
18
JLIDGE t]AN T. OKI
19
Defendant(s). DEPT. "J'

20 COMES NOW Plaintiffs ROBERT LOPEZ IIl, by and tlu'ough his Guardian Ad Litem
21
ROBERT LOPEZ II, NANCY LOPEZ, individually and ROBERT LOPEZ II, individualll,. who
22 detnand a jury trial, and seeks monetary compensation against Defendants, as foilows:
23 1. The true names and capacities, whether individual, corporate, associate or otherwise of
24 Defendants DOES 1 through 25, inclusive, are unknown to Plaintiffs who therefore sue said
25 Defendants by such fictitious nalnes. Plaintiffs are informed and believe and thereon allege that each
26 of the Defendants designated herein as a fictitiously named Defendant is, in some mannel'.
27 responsible for the events and happenings herein referred to, either contractually or toltiously and
28

Complaint Against Gabriel Lopez and Hacienda La Puente Unified School Disrrict. er a/
1 caused the damage to Plaintiffs as herein alleged, and Plaintiffs will amend this Complaint to allege
2 such true names and capacities when same are ascertained.
3 2. At all times herein mentioned, Defendants, and each of them, were the agents, servants,
4 employees, and joint venturers of each other and their co-defendant, and were acting within the
5 purpose, course, and scope of said agency, employment, or joint venture, with the consent,
6 knowledge, and ratification of the co-defendants.
7 3. The within action is not subject to the provisions of 2981, et seq. (Rees-Levering Act of
8 the Civil Code of the State of California.
9 4. At all times herein mentioned, Plaintiff ROBERT LOPEZ III, by and through
10 his Guardian Ad Litem ROBERT LOPEZ II aka Robbie (hereinafter ROBBIE) was a 17 year old
11 student of Los Altos High School (hereinafter High School) and a member of the Los Altos
12 Baseball program (hereinafter Program) and is the son of Plaintiffs NANCY LOPEZ and ROBERT
South El Monte, California 91733
9663 E. Garvey Ave., Suite 126
MICHAEL J. PONCE

13
Attorney at Law

LOPEZ II.
14 5. At all times herein mentioned, Plaintiff NANCY LOPEZ (hereinafter MRS. LOPEZ)
15 was the wife of Plaintiff ROBERT LOPEZ II and mother of Plaintiff ROBBIE.
16 6. At all times herein mentioned, Plaintiff ROBERT LOPEZ II (hereinafter MR. LOPEZ)
17 was the husband of Plaintiff Mrs. LOPEZ and father of Plaintiff ROBBIE.
18 7. Plaintiffs are informed and believe and thereon allege that Defendant Gabriel Lopez aka
19 Gabe Lopez (hereinafter COACH LOPEZ) is and all times herein mentioned was, an individual
20 employed by the HACIENDA LA PUENTE UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT (hereinafter
21 DISTRICT) as a teacher and as the head coach of the Program, working at the High School. In his
22 capacity and status as teacher and head coach of the Program, Defendant COACH LOPEZ owed all
23 students, especially those students who participated in the Program, including ROBBIE, a protective
24 duty of ordinary care. At all times herein mentioned Defendant COACH LOPEZ was acting in the
25 course and scope of his employment with Defendant DISTRICT.
26 8. Plaintiffs are informed and believe and thereon allege that Defendant DISTRICT is a
27 public-school district and business entity, with its principal place of business located at 15959 Gale
28

2
Complaint Against Gabriel Lopez and Hacienda La Puente Unified School District, et al.
1 Ave., City of Industry, California 91745. At all times relevant to this action, the DISTRICT regularly
2 conducted business in the above entitled county and judicial district.
3 9. At all times herein mentioned, Plaintiff ROBBIE was a student at the High School, which
4 is part of Defendant DISTRICT and as such was in the custodial care of school officials as well as
5 Defendant DISTRICT.
6 10. Whenever Plaintiffs refer to any act, deed, or conduct of Defendant, or Defendants, or
7 HACIENDA LA PUENTE UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT, or District, or High School or
8 Gabriel Lopez, or Gabe Lopez, or COACH LOPEZ, said references mean that Defendants
9 HACIENDA LA PUENTE UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT, GABRIEL LOPEZ, and DOES 1
10 through 25 collectively engaged in the act, deed, or conduct by and through one or more of its
11 officers, directors, agents, employees or representatives who were actively engaged in the
12 management, direction, control or operations of Defendant HACIENDA LA PUENTE UNIFIED
South El Monte, California 91733
9663 E. Garvey Ave., Suite 126
MICHAEL J. PONCE

13
Attorney at Law

SCHOOL DISTRICTs ordinary operations and education and business affairs.


14 11. Plaintiffs are informed and believe and based thereon allege that at all times material
15 hereto, Defendant COACH LOPEZ sued herein was the agent and employee of Defendant
16 DISTRICT and was, at all times, acting within the purpose and scope of such agency and or
17 employment and with the authority, consent, approval, control, influence and ratification of
18 Defendant DISTRICT.
19 12. Jurisdiction and venue are proper in the Los Angeles Superior Court because most of the
20 acts complained of occurred on the premises of the High School or nearby in the County of Los
21 Angeles, State of California. Furthermore, Defendant DISTRICTs headquarters is located at 15959
22 E. Gale Ave., City of Industry, California 91745.
23 FACTUAL ALLEGATIONS COMMON TO ALL CAUSES OF ACTION
24 13. At all times material hereto ROBBIE was a 17-year-old senior at the High School and
25 most of the acts complained of herein occurred during his senior year of high school and a
26 member of the Program.
27 14. ROBBIE had been a starting shortstop for three (3) years in the Program. First year as a
28 freshman starter on the Frosh team and two years on the Varsity team.

3
Complaint Against Gabriel Lopez and Hacienda La Puente Unified School District, et al.
1 15. The High School hired Defendant COACH LOPEZ to be the new head coach for the
2 Varsity Program in July 2016. Plaintiffs are informed and believe and based thereon allege that this
3 is the FIRST high school baseball program head coaching position for Defendant COACH
4 LOPEZ.
5 16. Plaintiffs are informed and believe and based thereon allege that Defendant COACH
6 LOPEZ holds an Emergency 30-Day Substitute Teaching Permit (hereinafter referred to as the
7 Teaching Permit) issued by the State of California Commission on Teaching Credentialing on
8 July 26, 2016 and expires on August 1, 2017.
9 17. Pursuant to California laws and regulations the Teaching Permit only authorizes
10 Defendant COACH LOPEZ to
11
serve as a day-to-day substitute teacher in any classroom for no more
12 than 30 days for any one teacher during the school year, except in a
South El Monte, California 91733
9663 E. Garvey Ave., Suite 126

special education classroom, where the holder may serve for no more than
MICHAEL J. PONCE

13 20 days for any one teacher during the school year.


Attorney at Law

14
18. Plaintiffs are informed and believe and based thereon allege that Defendant DISTRICT
15
and the High School have knowingly and intentionally violated the Teaching Permit laws and
16
regulations by allowing Defendant COACH LOPEZ to substitute teach for one teacher for more
17
than 30 days in order to qualify him to be Head Coach of the Varsity Program.
18
19. On or about August 24, 2016 Defendant COACH LOPEZ did not allow ROBBIE and
19
other players to practice because they did not participate in a fundraiser where money was
20
solicited as opposed to where a product was sold as a fundraiser. MR. LOPEZ reported this fact to
21
the Athletic Director Andrew Formano (hereinafter referred to as AD Formano) by email and
22
explained that since the High School and the Program were both public institutions Robbie or any
23
other player could not be forced to fundraise as a condition of participating in the Program.
24
20. On August 24, 2016 AD Formano responded to MR. LOPEZ e mail and stated Yes,
25
Mr. Lopez, you are correct. The issue regarding fundraising and practice was discussed and
26
will not happen again.
27
21. On October 28, 2016 ROBBIE told MR. LOPEZ and MRS. LOPEZ that there was a
28
new student who transferred from Bishop Amat who was joining the Program and played

4
Complaint Against Gabriel Lopez and Hacienda La Puente Unified School District, et al.
1 shortstop (hereinafter referred to as Transfer Student). ROBBIE further explained that COACH
2 LOPEZ told him (ROBBIE) to get, borrow or buy an outfielders glove because the Transfer
3 Student, who had not even played or practiced in the Program was the new shortstop.
4 22. After hearing what COACH LOPEZ told ROBBIE about getting an outfielders glove;
5 MR. LOPEZ emailed AD Formano and asked for COACH LOPEZ e mail address to ask him
6 about the anticipated move of ROBBIE to the outfield.
7 23. Ad Formanos response was:
8
Im not sure what the issue is that you are concerned about, but I have
9
been speaking to Coach regularly and we have discussed Robbies role
10 on the team. From what I hear, Robbie has been doing well of late. He
has been productive on the field and Coach thinks he will be a solid
11 contributor on the team this year.
12 24. On November 2, 2016, a meeting (hereinafter referred to as the Meeting) was held at
South El Monte, California 91733
9663 E. Garvey Ave., Suite 126
MICHAEL J. PONCE

13 2:30 p.m. at the High School with COACH LOPEZ, AD Formano, MR. LOPEZ and MRS.
Attorney at Law

14 LOPEZ to discuss:

15 a. the move of ROBBIE from shortstop to the outfield;

16 b. the circumstances surrounding the way the Transfer Student ended up in the Program;

17 c. COACH LOPEZ prior comment that ROBBIEs last three years of success in the

18 Program does not matter; and

19 d. discussion of COACH LOPEZ leadership role with a private for-profit, off-campus,

20 baseball program called Pico Pride and its relationship to the Transfer Student.

21 25. The same week as the Meeting, ROBBIE arrived 10 minutes late for the game against

22 Montebello and was benched (hereinafter referred to as the First Incident.) This First Incident of

23 bullying and retaliation by COACH LOPEZ was the beginning of several months of benching by

24 COACH LOPEZ of ROBBIE.

25 26. On November 10, 2016, MR. LOPEZ emails AD Formano with a further detailed

26 explanation of the COACH LOPEZ Pico Pride connection and its relationship to the Transfer

27 Student. See attached Pico Pride Connection Table attached hereto as Exhibit 3 which is

28 incorporated by reference herein.

5
Complaint Against Gabriel Lopez and Hacienda La Puente Unified School District, et al.
1 27. On November 12, 2016, there is a game and again ROBBIE is benched. Five other
2 players including the scheduled starting pitcher arrive only 25 minutes before the game and they
3 all are played by COACH LOPEZ. ROBBIE does not play the entire game.
4 28. On November 16, 2016, MR. LOPEZ writes an e mail to High School Principal Cheli
5 McReynolds (hereinafter referred to as Principal McReynolds) entitled Coach Gabe Lopez
6 situation and states that he wants to
7
document and In an effort to assure that I am following the provisions
8 for complaints and appeals (BP/AR 1312) I am writing this morning
to express my disappointment and continued dissatisfaction of the on-
9 going harassment of my son Robbie Lopez by the head Los Altos
Coach Gabe Lopez. [Emphasis added] (hereinafter referred to as the
10 BP/AR 1312 Complaint)
11 29. In the BP/AR 1312 Complaint MR. LOPEZ outlines all the events that have occurred
12 up to that time and states that following the meeting the meeting of November 2, 2016 described
South El Monte, California 91733
9663 E. Garvey Ave., Suite 126
MICHAEL J. PONCE

13
Attorney at Law

above, and the detailed explanation of the Pico Pride Connection and the Transfer Student
14 contained in the November 10, 2016 e mail from MR. LOPEZ to AD Formano, a pattern of
15 retaliation was being formed and initiated against Robbie by Coach Lopez. MR. LOPEZ further
16 states that We want this harassment, bullying and black balling of our son Robbie to stop as of
17 now, we want harmony on the field, and we want Robbie to focus on his grades and his future
18 after his senior year. [Emphasis added]
19 30. A true and correct copy of the entire BP/AR 1312 Complaint email is attached hereto
20 as Exhibit 1 and incorporated by reference.
21 31. On November 22, 2016 Principal McReynolds wrote back and stated we have been
22 looking further into your allegations of connection between a transfer student and the new head
23 baseball coach. Further she responded that Per the harassment and bullying, your request was
24 that we not make your son aware of your communication. I did speak directly to the coach about
25 the concern for all students to feel equitably welcomed into the program, as well as spoke with AD
26 Fromano. She stated that For further investigation we do require a meeting with your son
27 specifically to address any specific incidents.
28

6
Complaint Against Gabriel Lopez and Hacienda La Puente Unified School District, et al.
1 32. On November 28, 2016, MR. LOPEZ provided Principal McReynolds with more
2 information per her request and also provided additional information in e mails, CIF rules, and the
3 Transfer Student to Los Altos High School.
4 33. On December 8, 2016, MR. LOPEZ e mails Principal McReynolds and asks for
5 updates on the investigation of his BP/AR 1312 Complaint.
6 34. On December 9, 2016, Cyntha Cabello, Executive Director, Student and Family
7 Services (hereinafter referred to as Exec. Dir. Cabello) responds
8
Hello Mr. Lopez, Thank you for reaching out. The school site is
9 conducting interviews and want to ensure an investigation to your
concerns are thoroughly done. I believe they goal was to be
10 completed by this week. I will be meeting with LAHS next week and
then will contact you for an appointment to discuss the results of the
11 interview.
12
South El Monte, California 91733
9663 E. Garvey Ave., Suite 126

My secretary will contact you early next week to set that appointment
MICHAEL J. PONCE

13 up with me here at my office Student and Family Services at the


Attorney at Law

District Office.
14

15 35. On December 12, 2016 ROBBIE is offered a conditional admission to the California

16 State University, East Bay beginning in Fall Quarter 2017 the Bachelor of Science Program for

17 Kinesiology.

18 36. On December 16, 2016, Exec. Dir. Cabello writes MR. LOPEZ and informs him that

19 We have reached a conclusion to the investigation that was


20 conducted regarding your following concerns:
1) The validity of a status of transfer for another student
21 2) Undue influence and coach connections

22 CIF Southern Section was consulted during the investigation. After


conducting interviews with all parties the District has determined, the
23 transfer is a valid change of residence; as well, the connection
24 between coaches is coincidental and no undue influence has
occurred.
25
If you would like to make an appointment to discuss the results of our
26 investigation, please call my secretary for an appointment at (626)
933-4335.
27

28

7
Complaint Against Gabriel Lopez and Hacienda La Puente Unified School District, et al.
1 37. On December 16, 2016, MR. LOPEZ replied to Exec. Dir. Cabello and tells her that
2 not all parties were interviewed since he (MR. LOPEZ) nor MRS. LOPEZ nor ROBBIE were
3 interviewed to provide evidence and information about their own complaint. [Emphasis added]
4 38. On December 19, 2016, MR. LOPEZ writes and email to the Superintendent Cynthia
5 Parulan-Colfer (hereinafter Superintendent) and reiterates:
6
A. His concerns and complaint about the facts surrounding the Transfer Student and
7
COACH LOPEZ Pico Pride Connection;
8
B. Harassment of his son which started after the Meeting of November 2, 2016
9
[Emphasis added]; and
10
C. The fact that he, Mrs. Lopez and Robbie were not interviewed during the investigation
11
of his BP/AR 1312 Complaint.
12
South El Monte, California 91733
9663 E. Garvey Ave., Suite 126

39. With no response from the Superintendent, on January 4, 2017, MR. LOPEZ writes to
MICHAEL J. PONCE

13
Attorney at Law

the Board of Education for the District and attaches a copy of his December 19, 2016 e mail to the
14
Superintendent and states that he was not given a response by the Superintendent to his two
15
questions:
16

17 A. If she [the Superintendent] was aware of and current on the situation regarding the
Transfer Student and his connection to Coach Lopez; and
18
B. the subsequent bullying of Robbie Lopez a student who plays Baseball at Los Altos
19 High School. [Emphasis added]
20 40. On January 4, 2017, the Superintendent writes back to MR. LOPEZ and states that she
21 was told by Exec. Dir. Cabello, Principal McReynolds and Ms. Meneses that it had been resolved
22 including their submission for confirmation of no CIF violations to the CIF office. Thank you.
23
41. On the same day, MR. LOPEZ responds by email and clearly states that
24
you keep ignoring the facts that the coach has started and
25 continues to bully my son Robbie all because of bringing the CIF
violations and the Pico Pride Connection forward to the school.
26

27 That is all fine

28

8
Complaint Against Gabriel Lopez and Hacienda La Puente Unified School District, et al.
You do not address the issues here and skip pass them. My son has the
1
right to protection from this bully tactics from the Coach Lopez and it
2 is your responsibility by law to insure it stops now.
And this statement about all parties involved being interviewed and
3 the investigation closed is just wrong. how can you call it an
investigation when my wife, myself and my son Robbie were never
4 interviewed for are [sic] input of facts as to what was going on and
continues to go on????
5
42. On January 25, 2017 ROBBIE is dismissed from practice because MR. LOPEZ and
6
MRS. LOPEZ have not signed new Athletics Code /Athletic Philosophy and Information forms.
7
After MR. LOPEZ clears it with AD Formano that ROBBIE can take the signed papers back to the
8
School on January 26th, 2017 ROBBIE goes back to practice and informs COACH LOPEZ that he
9
was given permission by AD Formano to return the signed forms the next day and COACH
10
LOPEZ tells ROBBIE AD Formano is not the coach of this team I am and after not letting
11
ROBBIE practice for about an hour, AD Formano told COACH LOPEZ to let ROBBIE practice
12
South El Monte, California 91733
9663 E. Garvey Ave., Suite 126

and he did.
MICHAEL J. PONCE

13
Attorney at Law

43. On January 28, 2017 ROBBIE is benched the whole game against Cal High even
14
though the new forms were signed and returned.
15
44. On January 31, 2017 ROBBIE is the first player to arrive at the game against Downey
16
and is benched the entire game. Another player arrives 10 minutes before the game starts and he is
17
allowed to play by COACH LOPEZ.
18
45. On February 4, 2017, the Annual Los Altos Baseball Alumni vs. Los Altos Varsity
19
game (hereinafter referred to as the Alumni Game) is held at the High School. This is a game
20
that is not counted in official CIF win/loss record for the Program. Statistics for the game are not
21
counted in a players record; the game is supposed to be a fun day; especially for seniors on the
22
team. COACH LOPEZ benches ROBBIE, a senior, a prior 3-year starter, for the entire game. AD
23
Formano is aware of this fact because he was in the Alumni dugout for the entire game. Assistant
24
Principal Jeffery Hess was present for the game as well and witnessed the fact that ROBBIE did
25
not get an opportunity to play in this annual event. Every senior on the team played except for
26
ROBBIE.
27

28

9
Complaint Against Gabriel Lopez and Hacienda La Puente Unified School District, et al.
1 46. Following the humiliation of not playing in the Alumni Game, on February 6, 2017,
2 ROBBIE wrote an e mail to Coach Lopez, AD Formano, Asst. Principal Jeffrey Hess and Exec.
3 Dir. Cabello at the District. In the e mail ROBBIE explains that he feels he has been the victim of
4 bullying and unfair treatment over the course of the last three to four months by COACH
5 LOPEZ. Further he explains he feels as if he had a target on his back and has been singled
6 out and that COACH LOPEZ told him that nothing in the last 3 years that [ROBBIE] has
7 accomplished in the Los Altos Baseball program counts for anything. COACH LOPEZ told
8 ROBBIE that all the hard work; the blood, sweat and tears ROBBIE put into the program meant
9 absolutely nothing. As an example of how he was being singled out, he stated that other players
10 do not show up for mandatory weight training and show up late to games and still get to play
11 while he sits on the bench. A true and correct copy of ROBBIEs February 6, 2017 e mail is
12 attached hereto as Exhibit 2 and incorporated by reference.
South El Monte, California 91733
9663 E. Garvey Ave., Suite 126
MICHAEL J. PONCE

13
Attorney at Law

47. On February 27, 2017, Los Altos has a game against Victor Valley and ROBBIE
14 continues to be benched until last out of the last inning and he is put in to pinch run.
15 48. On March 4, 2017, game against South Hills at Mt. SAC. ROBBIE did not play.
16 Transfer Student, who misses practice, is late to school, did not get a hit. There were four (4)
17 college scouts in the bleachers watching the game.
18 49. On March 8, 2017, Los Altos has a game against Crescenta Valley. COACH LOPEZ
19 brought up a sophomore to Varsity from JV team and played him ahead of ROBBIE. ROBBIE sat
20 on the bench the entire time while this unproven sophomore was allowed to play. The unproved
21 sophomore struck out 3 times.
22 50. On March 14, 2017, Los Altos has a double header in Whittier and ROBBIE still is not
23 given the opportunity to have an official at bat.
24 51. On March 17, 2017, Los Altos has a game against Diamond Ranch and ROBBIE is on
25 the bench again until the last inning when he is put in as a pinch runner.
26 52. On March 22, 2017, Los Altos has a game against Walnut and ROBBIE is on the
27 bench again until the last inning when he is put in as a pinch runner.
28

10
Complaint Against Gabriel Lopez and Hacienda La Puente Unified School District, et al.
1 53. On March 24, 2017 Los Altos has a game against Chino Hills and ROBBIE is on the
2 bench again.
3 54. On March 29, 2017 Los Altos has a home game against Charter Oak and ROBBIE is
4 on the bench again.
5 55. In game against La Mirada on April 6, 2017, COACH LOPEZ did not allow ROBBIE
6 to play even though he was at the game on time and about 7-8 players arrived at 2:00 p.m. right
7 before the game. The Transfer Student committed another error to add to his total for the season
8 and ROBBIE was still not put into the game.
9 56. In the game against Walnut on April 21, 2017 COACH LOPEZ played all players
10 EXCEPT ROBBIE.
11 57. Since the date of the First Incident for over four (4) months and 14 games, ROBBIE
12 has been benched and not the opportunity to show his offensive or defensive capabilities.
South El Monte, California 91733
9663 E. Garvey Ave., Suite 126
MICHAEL J. PONCE

13
Attorney at Law

EXHAUSTION OF ADMINISTRATIVE REMEDIES


14 CLAIM FOR DAMAGES WITH DISTRICT

15 58. On April 24, 2017, Plaintiffs filed a Government Tort Claim for Damages (hereinafter

16 CLAIM) with the District by sending their CLAIM certified return receipt mail. A true and

17 correct copy of the CLAIM is attached hereto as Exhibit 1 and is incorporated by reference.

18 59. On April 26, 2017, the Return Receipt Card for the CLAIM was signed for by an

19 employee at the DISTRICT.

20 60. As of the date of filing of this complaint, Plaintiffs have not received a notice of

21 rejection. Pursuant to Government Code 945.6(a)(2), if written notice of rejection of a claim is

22 not given in accordance with Government Code 913, Plaintiffs must file suit within two years

23 after the cause of action accrued. The 45 days have lapsed since the receipt of the CLAIM was

24 delivered to the DISTRICT. The complaint herein is thus timely filed within the two year

25 requirement.

26

27

28

11
Complaint Against Gabriel Lopez and Hacienda La Puente Unified School District, et al.
1 FIRST CAUSE OF ACTION
BY PLAINTIFF ROBBIE FOR NEGLIGENCE BY
2 COACH LOPEZ IN VIOLATION OF PUBLIC POLICY
3 61. Plaintiff incorporates herein by reference each and every allegation contained in
4 paragraphs1 through 60 with full force and effect as though fully set forth herein.
5 62. At all times mentioned in this complaint the California Constitution provided that [a]ll
6 students and staff of public primary, elementary, junior high and senior high schools have the
7 inalienable right to attend campuses which are safe, secure and peaceful. (C.A. Const. Art.I, 28
8 and California Education Code 32261)
9 63. The California Legislature has declared that in the Safe Place to Learn Act that it is the
10 policy of the State of California to ensure that the High School and District work to reduce
11 intimidation, and bullying. It is further the policy of the state to improve pupil safety at schools
12
South El Monte, California 91733

and the connections between pupils and supportive adults, schools, and communities. (California
9663 E. Garvey Ave., Suite 126
MICHAEL J. PONCE

13
Attorney at Law

Education Code 234)


14 64. The California Legislature has also declared that as matter of public policy the High
15 School and District must adopt:
16

17 a policy that prohibits intimidation, and bullying and [t]he


policy shall include a statement that the policy applies to all acts related
18 to school activity occurring within a school under the jurisdiction of
the superintendent of the school district. (California Education Code
19 234.1(a))
20
65. Further, the California Legislature has declared that as a matter of public policy the
21
High School and District must:
22
(b) Adopted a process for receiving and investigating complaints of
23
intimidation, and bullying . and
24
(f) Ensured that complainants are protected from retaliation and that the identity of
25
a complainant alleging intimidation, or bullying remains confidential, as appropriate.
26
(California Education Code 234.1)
27

28

12
Complaint Against Gabriel Lopez and Hacienda La Puente Unified School District, et al.
1 66. Additionally, through California Education Code 32261(d) it is the intent of the
2 Legislature to encourage school districts to develop and implement in-service training
3 programs, and activities that will reduce bullying.
4 67. As defined in California Education Code 48900 (r)(1):
5
Bullying means any severe or pervasive verbal act or conduct
6
directed toward one or more pupils that has or can be reasonably
7 predicted to have the effect of one or more of the following:
(A) Placing a reasonable pupil in fear of harm to that pupils
8 property.
(B) Causing a reasonable pupil to experience a substantially
9 detrimental effect on his mental health.
(C) Causing a reasonable pupil to experience substantial
10
interference with his academic performance.
11 (D) Causing a reasonable pupil to experience substantial
interference with his ability to participate in or benefit from the
12 services, activities, or privileges provided by a school.
South El Monte, California 91733
9663 E. Garvey Ave., Suite 126
MICHAEL J. PONCE

13 68. Through the 2016-2017 District Annual Information Handbook, the High School and
Attorney at Law

14 DISTRICT adopted each of the above codes and stated that they are the policies of the High

15 School and DISTRICT. See 2016-2017 District Annual Information Handbook, pages 6-13.

16 69. At all times mentioned in this complaint the above constitutional provisions, codes and

17 policies were in full force and effect and were binding on Defendants DISTRICT and COACH

18 LOPEZ. These constitutional provisions, codes and policies state the public policy of State of

19 California that it is the duty of Defendants DISTRICT and COACH LOPEZ to provide all

20 students, including ROBBIE a safe, secure and peaceful place to learn free from intimidation and

21 bullying.

22 70. As part of this duty, COACH LOPEZ was required to act reasonably when supervising

23 students such as ROBBIE while he under his protection and care.

24 71. COACH LOPEZ violated and breached his duty as outlined above by abusing his

25 position as head coach of the Program by committing the following acts which include, but are not

26 limited to:

27 A. Carrying out a constant pattern and practice of retaliation against ROBBIE by benching

28 for over four months as documented in the Statement of Facts above.

13
Complaint Against Gabriel Lopez and Hacienda La Puente Unified School District, et al.
1 B. By intentionally humiliating and belittling him during the Alumni Game when he let all
2 the other seniors in the Program play except ROBBIE; who was a senior and a past two-year
3 starter in the Program. Even in this type of game all players get into the game for a brief time
4 except when retaliation, ill will and intentional attempts to force a student to quit exists. That is
5 bullying clear and simple and mistreatment of student athletes.
6 C. When he intentionally kept ROBBIE from any official at bats during any of the games
7 between the dates of November 2, 2016 and March 29, 2017.
8 D. When he intentionally and deliberately promoted sophomores from JV to Varsity and
9 kept ROBBIE on the bench.
10 E. By signaling out ROBBIE and benching him for arriving late to a game and allowing
11 other players who missed practice and arrive just before games started to play in games.
12 F. By treating ROBBIE differently than the way he treated other players to ROBBIEs
South El Monte, California 91733
9663 E. Garvey Ave., Suite 126
MICHAEL J. PONCE

13
Attorney at Law

detriment.
14 G. By applying different standards to ROBBIE than he did to other players.
15 (1) For instance, when ROBBIE arrived late for the Montebello game he was benched;
16 yet when other players arrive just minutes before the game instead of the required time they are
17 allowed to play and ROBBIE is still benched. This occurred on November 12, 2016 in the game
18 against Roosevelt High School and on January 31, 2017 in the game against Downey. In the
19 Roosevelt game, the scheduled starting pitcher arrived late and still played in the game and was
20 not benched.
21 (2) COACH LOPEZ has made strength and conditioning practice mandatory on
22 Monday and Tuesday in the morning and Thursday after practice. In the contract, all players
23 signed in January it stated that unexcused absences from practice resulted in not playing in the
24 following or upcoming game. So, for players to miss those mandatory practices and still start the
25 following games, is where ROBBIE was held to higher standard.
26 H. Claiming that other players were played ahead of ROBBIE because they were better
27 offensively according to COACH LOPEZ. How was he able to sincerely make such a statement
28 when ROBBIE has been attending baseball since August and some of these kids who have been

14
Complaint Against Gabriel Lopez and Hacienda La Puente Unified School District, et al.
1 started ahead of ROBBIE were playing on the varsity football team that went to the football
2 championship game; which meant that COACH LOPEZ could not have possibility judged that
3 they were better offensively since they had not played baseball up to that point.
4 I. In game against La Mirada on April 6, 2017, COACH LOPEZ did not allow ROBBIE to
5 play even though he was at the game on time and about 7-8 players arrived at 2:00 p.m. right
6 before the game. The game was lost because of an error by Transfer Student and ROBBIE was
7 still not put into the game.
8 J. In the game against Walnut on April 21, 2017 COACH LOPEZ played all players
9 EXCEPT ROBBIE.
10 72. As a direct and proximate cause of COACH LOPEZ actions and omissions, ROBBIE
11 suffered general damages for embarrassment, humiliation, mental and emotional pain and distress
12 all to his detriment in amounts not fully ascertained but within the jurisdiction of this court and
South El Monte, California 91733
9663 E. Garvey Ave., Suite 126
MICHAEL J. PONCE

13
Attorney at Law

subject to proof at the time of trial.


14 73. The conduct of COACH LOPEZ when taken as a totality of the circumstances, as
15 alleged herein above was despicable, willful, wanton, malicious and oppressive and committed
16 with an improper motive amounting to malice, and in conscious disregard of ROBBIEs rights and
17 justify the awarding of exemplary and/or punitive damages according to proof.
18 SECOND CAUSE OF ACTION
BY PLAINTIFF ROBBIE FOR NEGLIGENCE BY
19 DISTRICT IN VIOLATION OF PUBLIC POLICY
20 74. Plaintiff incorporates herein by reference each and every allegation contained in
21 paragraphs1 through 73 with full force and effect as though fully set forth herein.
22 75. At all times mentioned in this complaint the above constitutional provisions, codes and
23 policies outlined in the FIRST CAUSE OF ACTION were in full force and effect and were
24 binding on Defendant DISTRICT and COACH LOPEZ. These constitutional provisions, codes
25 and policies state the public policy of State of California that it is the duty of Defendants
26 DISTRICT and COACH LOPEZ to provide all students, including ROBBIE a safe, secure and
27 peaceful place to learn free from intimidation and bullying.
28

15
Complaint Against Gabriel Lopez and Hacienda La Puente Unified School District, et al.
1 76. As part of this duty, DISTRICT was required to act reasonably when supervising
2 students such as ROBBIE while he under the protection and care of COACH LOPEZ and when
3 supervising employees such as COACH LOPEZ.
4 77. The DISTICT violated and breached its duty as outlined above by failing to prevent
5 and stop the abuse, intimidation and bullying of ROBBIE by COACH LOPEZ by committing, or
6 failing to commit acts which include, but are not limited to the following:
7 A. By relying on the coachs discretion defense when MR. LOPEZ and ROBBIE
8 notified the High School about the pattern and practice of benching of ROBBIE by COACH
9 LOPEZ for over 4 months despite the fact that ROBBIE had been a starter his freshman,
10 sophomore and junior years.
11 B. By allowing COACH LOPEZ to bully and intimidate ROBBIE despite AD Formanos
12 knowledge that COACH LOPEZ told him around October 28, 2016 that ROBBIE has been
South El Monte, California 91733
9663 E. Garvey Ave., Suite 126
MICHAEL J. PONCE

13
Attorney at Law

doing well of late. He has been productive on the field and Coach thinks he will be a solid
14 contributor on the team this year.
15 C. By allowing COACH LOPEZ, after the Meeting of November 2, 2016 to carrying out a
16 pattern and practice of retaliation and bullying against ROBBIE.
17 D. By ignoring COACH LOPEZ continual and prolonged actions directed against
18 ROBBIE despite being informed by MR. LOPEZ in his email of November 16, 2016 (Exhibit 1)
19 and by ROBBIE in his e mail of February 6, 2017 (Exhibit 2).
20 E. By AD Formanos response to ROBBIEs February 6, 2017 e mail which relied in
21 essence on the coachs discretion defense in spite of the fact that COACH LOPEZ discretion
22 was harming ROBBIE and a violation of California law. The response by AD Formano
23 completely ignored the claims of bullying and unfair treatment by attributing all of Robbies
24 claims as playing time decisions made by the coach. Well when the playing time decisions fit
25 a pattern and practice of bullying and unfair treatment due to retaliation the school administration
26 cannot the claims and must investigate the claims of the student athlete.
27 F. By failing to ensure that COACH LOPEZ signed the CIF Code of Ethics for Coaches
28 before he started to coach (signed only after notified by Claimants on February 2, 2017) and

16
Complaint Against Gabriel Lopez and Hacienda La Puente Unified School District, et al.
1 failing to ensure that COACH LOPEZ adhered to the conditions outlined in the CIF Code of
2 Ethics.
3 G. By failing to conduct a thorough and complete investigation in to the complaints of MR.
4 LOPEZ and ROBBIE; since the DISTRICT nor the High School even interviewed ROBBIE,
5 MRS. LOPEZ or MR. LOPEZ to get their specific facts and evidence regarding their complaint.
6 H. By relying on the Schools representation that the matter was all resolved as stated in
7 the e mail of the Superintendent dated January 4, 2017 to MR. LOPEZ.
8 78. As a direct and proximate cause of DISTRICTs actions and omissions, ROBBIE
9 suffered general damages for embarrassment, humiliation, mental and emotional pain and distress
10 all to his detriment in amounts not fully ascertained but within the jurisdiction of this court and
11 subject to proof at the time of trial.
12 THIRD CAUSE OF ACTION
South El Monte, California 91733
9663 E. Garvey Ave., Suite 126

BY PLAINTIFFS NANCY LOPEZ AND ROBERT LOPEZ II


MICHAEL J. PONCE

13
Attorney at Law

FOR NEGLIGENCE BY COACH LOPEZ and DISTRICT


14 IN VIOLATION OF PUBLIC POLICY
79. Plaintiff incorporates herein by reference each and every allegation contained in
15
paragraphs1 through 78 with full force and effect as though fully set forth herein.
16
80. At all times mentioned in this complaint the above constitutional provisions, codes and
17
policies outlined in the FIRST CAUSE OF ACTION were in full force and effect and were
18
binding on Defendant DISTRICT and COACH LOPEZ. These constitutional provisions, codes
19
and policies state the public policy of State of California that it is the duty of Defendants
20
DISTRICT and COACH LOPEZ to provide all students, including ROBBIE a safe, secure and
21
peaceful place to learn free from intimidation and bullying.
22
81. Plaintiffs MRS. LOPEZ and MR. LOPEZ are informed and belief and based thereon
23
allege that the duty of Defendants DISTRICT and COACH LOPEZ extend to the parents of
24
students of the DISTRICT and as such, parents of students are entitled to expect that such duty
25
will be properly performed and enforced so that their children are provided a safe, secure and
26
peaceful place to learn free from intimidation and bullying.
27

28

17
Complaint Against Gabriel Lopez and Hacienda La Puente Unified School District, et al.
1 82. As part of this duty, COACH LOPEZ and DISTRICT were required to act reasonably
2 when supervising students such as ROBBIE while under the protection and care of COACH
3 LOPEZ and when supervising employees such as COACH LOPEZ.
4 83. The DISTICT and COACH LOPEZ violated and breached their duty as outlined above
5 by failing to prevent and stop the abuse, intimidation and bullying of ROBBIE by COACH
6 LOPEZ by committing, or failing to commit acts as outlined above in the FIRST and SECOND
7 CAUSES of ACTION.
8 84. As a direct and proximate cause of DISTRICTs and COACH LOPEZ actions and
9 omissions, MRS. LOPEZ and MR. LOPEZ suffered general damages for embarrassment,
10 humiliation, mental and emotional pain and distress all to their detriment in amounts not fully
11 ascertained but within the jurisdiction of this court and subject to proof at the time of trial.
12
South El Monte, California 91733

FOURTH CAUSE OF ACTION AGAINST DEFENDANTS


9663 E. Garvey Ave., Suite 126
MICHAEL J. PONCE

13 BASED UPON VIOLATION OF CIVIL CODE 52.1(b)


Attorney at Law

14 85. Plaintiffs incorporate herein by reference each and every allegation contained in

15 paragraphs 1 through 84 with full force and effect as though fully set forth herein.

16 86. California's Civil Code 52.1(b) states that


Any individual whose exercise or enjoyment of rights secured by
17 the Constitution or laws of the United States, or of rights secured by the
Constitution or laws of this state, has been interfered with, or attempted to
18 be interfered with, as described in subdivision (a), may institute and
prosecute in his or her own name and on his or her own behalf a civil
19
action for damages, including, but not limited to, damages under Section
20 52 .

21 87. This code section was in full force and effect and was binding on Defendants

22 DISTRICT and COACH LOPEZ at all times herein mentioned.

23 88. At all times herein mentioned, Plaintiffs were entitled to the protection afforded by

24 California Civil Code 52.1(b).

25 89. As a direct and proximate cause of DISTRICTs and COACH LOPEZ actions and

26 omissions as alleged herein, Plaintiffs suffered general damages for embarrassment, humiliation,

27 mental and emotional pain and distress all to their detriment in amounts not fully ascertained but

28 within the jurisdiction of this court and subject to proof at the time of trial.

18
Complaint Against Gabriel Lopez and Hacienda La Puente Unified School District, et al.
1 90. Plaintiffs claim reasonable attorneys fees according to proof as provided by Civil
2 Code 52.1(h) and, pursuant to Civil Code 52, treble damages and attorneys fees according to
3 proof at time of trial.
4 91. The conduct of COACH LOPEZ when taken as a totality of the circumstances, as
5 alleged herein above was despicable, willful, wanton, malicious and oppressive and committed
6 with an improper motive amounting to malice, and in conscious disregard of ROBBIEs rights and
7 justify the awarding of exemplary and/or punitive damages according to proof.
8
FIFTH CAUSE OF ACTION AGAINST DEFENDANT
9
DISTRICT FOR NEGLIGENT HIRING, SUPERVISION, AND RETENTION
10 BASED GOVERNMENT CODE 815.2 & 820

11
92. Plaintiffs incorporate herein by reference each and every allegation contained in
12
South El Monte, California 91733
9663 E. Garvey Ave., Suite 126

paragraphs 1 through 91 with full force and effect as though fully set forth herein.
MICHAEL J. PONCE

13
Attorney at Law

93. While enrolled/in attendance at the High School, ROBBIE was repeatedly subjected to
14
an intentional campaign of abuse, intimidation and bullying by COACH LOPEZ as herein
15
described. This intentional campaign of abuse, intimidation and bullying by COACH LOPEZ was
16
allowed and condoned by the DISTRICT and its employees despite being put on notice by the
17
complaints made by ROBBIE and MR. LOPEZ about the abuse, intimidation and bullying by
18
COACH LOPEZ. The DISTRICT failed to provide ROBBIE a safe, secure and peaceful place to
19
learn free from intimidation and bullying by its actions and omissions as outlined herein.
20
94. Plaintiffs are informed and believe and thereon allege that the DISTRICT intentionally
21
violated California Education Code 35186 by hiring COACH LOPEZ to teach classes which
22
violate the Emergency 30-Day Substitute Teaching Permit issued to COACH LOPEZ by the State
23
of California Commission on Teaching Credentialing on July 26, 2016. By allowing COACH
24
LOPEZ to teach classes he is not qualified or authorized to teach the DISTRICT and High School
25
have misassigned COACH LOPEZ so that he would qualify to be the Head Coach of the Program.
26
95. Misassignment is defined in California Education Code 35186 as the placement of a
27
certificated employee in a teaching or services position for which the employee does not hold a
28

19
Complaint Against Gabriel Lopez and Hacienda La Puente Unified School District, et al.
1 legally recognized certificate or credential or the placement of a certificated employee in a
2 teaching or services position that the employee is not otherwise authorized by statute to hold.
3 96. Plaintiffs filed a Williams Complaint concurrently with their CLAIM and
4 incorporates it herein. See Exhibit 4.
5 97. Plaintiffs are informed and believe and thereon allege that by negligently hiring and
6 employing COACH LOPEZ for a position he was not qualified for solely for the purpose of
7 allowing him to be Head Coach of the Program; the DISTRICT and the High School allowed
8 COACH LOPEZ to violate the above described public policies and commit the above listed acts of
9 bullying and intimidation against ROBBIE. But for COACH LOPEZ negligent hiring, he would
10 not be allowed to be the Head Coach and be in the position to commit the acts complained of
11 herein.
12 98. The High School and DISTRICT failed to ensure that COACH LOPEZ only taught
South El Monte, California 91733
9663 E. Garvey Ave., Suite 126
MICHAEL J. PONCE

13
Attorney at Law

classes for which he was authorized and qualified to teach. The High School and DISTRICT
14 allowed COACH LOPEZ to teach the same class for more than 30 days under the substitute
15 teacher certificate. Plaintiffs are informed and believe and thereon allege that COACH LOPEZ has
16 been teaching the same class since August.
17 99. The DISTRICT and DOES 1through 25, and each of them, had a duty at all times to
18 supervise the conduct of teachers, employees and coaches on the grounds of the school and
19 enforce those rules and regulations necessary for the protection of students and to insure that it
20 provided a safe, secure and peaceful place to learn free from intimidation and bullying.
21 100. Government Code 815.2(a) provides
22
A public entity is liable for injury proximately caused by an act
23
or omission of an employee of the public entity within the scope of his
24 employment if the act or omission would, apart from this section, have
given rise to a cause of action against that employee or his personal
25 representative.
26 101. The DISTICT owes students under their supervision a protective duty of ordinary

27 care, for breach of which the school district may be held vicariously liable. The DISTRICT may

28

20
Complaint Against Gabriel Lopez and Hacienda La Puente Unified School District, et al.
I be vicariously liable under Governnrent Code $815.2 for negligence of administrators or
2 supervisors in hiring, supervising and retaining a school employe e. C,A. v. William S, Hart (Jnion

3 High School Dist. (2012) 53 Cal4th 861.

4 I}2.Plaintiffs are informed and believe and thereon allege that COACH LOPEZ was unfit
5 to perform his work as Head Coach of the Program. Plaintiffs are informed and believe and

6 thereon allege that the DISTRICT knew or should have known of COACH LOPEZ' unfrtness and
7 incompetence.

8 103. As a direct and proximate cause of DISTRICT's negligent hiring, retention and

9 supervision of COACH LOPEZ and the actions and omissions of the DISTRICT and COACH

10 LOPEZ as outlined herein, Plaintiffs suffered general damages for embarrassment, humiliation,

11 mental and emotional pain and distress all to their detriment in amounts not fully ascertained but

\o ia
{.1 t2 within the jurisdiction of this court and subject to proof at the time of trial.
aN r\
F{ F{

td. .E.E
os\
9 E (n L 13 WHEREFORE, Plaintiffs prays for judgment and relief as follows:
v^H -.o
or+J 6JE
{:i5
* 0 0g
t4 1. General damages (pain, suffering, emotional distress and other non-economic damages);

3 E .E.E
l5 2. Reasonable attorney's fees as alleged and are available pursuant to law and any other
V J.J
'r+JvZ
E d r-l r.1
a s l6 appropriate statute;
\0=
O\o
0 17
3. Exemplary damages according to proof and as allowed by statute and caselaw against

18 COACH LOPEZ for First and Fourth Causes of Action;

T9 4. Costs of suit;

20 5. Pre- and post-judgment interest upon any judgment entered as provided by law; and

2t 6. For such other and further relief or damages as allowed by law, or statutes not set out

22 above and such further relief as the Court deems just and proper.

23

24
LAW OFFI ONCE

25
DATED: July 16,2017
26 MICHAELJ. PONCE, Attorney for
Robert Lopez III, by and through
27
his Guardian Ad Litem Robert LopezII;
28 Nancy Lopez, individually and Robert Lopez
II. individuall

2L
Complaint Against Gabriel Lopez and Hacienda La Puente Unified School District, et al.
E,XHIBIT A
LA!7 OFFICES OF'

MICHAELJ.PONCE
Attorney at Law
96G3 GnRvry Averuue srE.126 Trl: (020) s75-5878
MICHAEL I" PONCE SourH El MorurE, CA 91733 Fnx: (aee)8s2-4047

April 22,2017 Via Certified Return Receipt Mail

Haciend aLa Puente


Unified School District
ATTN: Claim for Damages
15959 E. Gale Ave.
City of Industry, CA 9t7 45

cLArM FOR DAMAGES PURSUANT TO $910 OF THE GOVERNMENT CODE

I. CLAIMANTS:

1. Robert Lopez III, by and through


his Parents Robert Lopez II and Nancy Lopez
2. Nancy Lopez
3. Robert LopezII

1449 Jellick Ave. Apt. D


Rowland Heights, CA 91748

As explained below, Claimants make this claim for money damages based on violation of public
policy, negligence, negligent hiring, retention and supervision by the District, Los Altos High
School and Coach Gabriel Lopez as detailed herein. Claimants' claims for damages is based on
the facts set forth below for the period of July 2016 to the present and ongoing.

II. FACTS COMMON TO ALL CLAIMS

1. Robert Lopez III (hereinafter referred to as "Robbie" is a senior at Los Altos High School
(hereinafter referred to as "High School").

2. Robbie is currently a member of the Los Altos Baseball program (hereinafter referred to as the
"Program").

3. Robbie has been a starting shortstop for three (3) years in the Program. First year as a
freshman starter on the Frosh team and two years on the Varsity team.

4. The High School hired Coach Gabriel "Gabe" Lopez (hereinafter referred to as "Coach
Lopez") to be the new head coach for the Varsity Program in July 2016. This is the FIRST high
school baseball program head coaching position for CoachLopez.

5. Coach Lopez is also hired by the HaciendaLaPuente Unified School District (hereinafter
referred to as "District") to teach classes at the High School.

I
6. Coach Lopezholds an Emergency 30-Day Substitute Teaching Permit (hereinafter referred to
as the "Teaching Permit") issued by the State of California Commission on Teaching
Credentialing on July 26,2016 and expires on August l, 2017.

7. Pursuant to California laws and regulations the Teaching Permit only authorizes Coach Lopez
to

"serve as a day-to-day substitute teacher in any classroom ...for no more


than 30 days for any one teacher during the school year, except in a
special education classroom, where the holder may serve for no more
than 20 days for any one teacher during the school year."

8. The District and School have knowingly and intentionally violated the Teaching Permit laws
and regulations by allowing Coach Lopez to substitute teach for one teacher for more than 30
days in order to qualify him to be Head Coach of the Varsity Program.

9. On or about August 24,2016 CoachLopezdid not allow Robbie and other players to practice
because they did not participate in a fundraiser where money was solicited as opposed to where a
product was sold as a fundraiser. Robbie's father - Robert Lopez II (hereinafter referred to as
o'Mr. Lopez") reported this fact to the Athtetic Director Andrew Formano (hereinafter referred to
as "AD Formano") by email and explained that since the High School and the Program were
both public institutions Robbie or any other player could not be forced to fundraise as a condition
of participating in the Program.

10. On August 24,2016 AD Formano responded to Mr. Lopez'e mail and stated "Yes, Mr.
Lopez, you are correct. .. . The issue regarding fundraising and practice was discussed and will
not happen again."

11. On October 28,2016 Robbie told Mr. Lopezandhis mother (hereinafter referred to as "Mrs.
Lopez") that there was a new student who transferred from Bishop Amat who was joining the
Program and played shortstop (hereinafter referred to as "Transfer Student"). Robbie further
explained that Coach Lopez told him (Robbie) to "get, borrow or buy an outfielder's glove"
because the Transfer Student, who had not even played or practiced in the Program was the new
shortstop.

12. After hearing what Coach Lopeztold Robbie about getting an outfielder's glove; Mr. Lopez
emailed AD Formano and asked for CoachLopez' e mail address to ask him about the
anticipated move of Robbie to the outfield.

13. Ad Formano response was: "f 'm not sure what the issue is that you are concerned about, but
I have been speaking to Coach regularly and we have discussed Robbie's role on the team. From
what I hear, Robbie has been doingwell of late. He has beenproductive onthefield andCoach
thinks he will be a solid contributor on the team this year."

14. On Novemb er 2,2016, a meeting (hereinafter refered to as the "Meeting") was held at2:30
p.m. atthe High School with Coach Lopez,AD Formano, Mr. Lopezand Mrs. Lopezto discuss:
a, the move of Robbie from shortstop to the outfield;
b. the circumstances surrounding the way the Transfer Student ended up in the Program;
c. Coach Lopez'prior comment that Robbie's last three years of success in the Program
does not matter; and

for Damage_s Palker Robgrt L*opez III, Robert Lgpqf II and.Nangy_ f--opez
-Clgim -by
2
d. discussion of Coach Lopez' leadership role with a private for-profit, off-campus,
o'Pico Pride"
baseball program called and its relationship to the Transfer Student.

15. The same week as the Meeting, Robbie arrived 10 minutes late for the game against
Montebello and was benched (hereinafter referred to as the "First Incident".) This First Incident
of bullying and retaliation by Coach Lopezwas the beginning of several months of benching by
Coach Lopez of Robbie.

16. On November 10, 2016, Mr. Lopez emails AD Formano with a further detailed explanation
of the Coach Lopez'Pico Pride connection and its relationship to the Transfer Student. See
attached Pico Pride Connection Table attached hereto as Exhibit 3 which is incorporated by
reference herein.

17. OnNovember 12,2016, there is a game and again Robbie is benched. Five other players
including the scheduled starting pitcher arrive only 25 minutes before the game and they all are
played by CoachLopez. Robbie does not play the entire game.

18. OnNovember 16,2016, Mr. Lopez writes an e mail to High School Principal Cheli
McReynolds (hereinafter refened to as "Principal McReynolds") entitled "Coach Gabe
Lopez situation" and states that he wants to

"document and In an effort to assure that I am following the provisions


for complaints and appeals (BP/AR l3l2) - I am writing this
morning to express my disappointment and continued dissatisfaction of
the on-going harassment of my son Robbie Lopez by the head Los
Altos Coach Gabe Lopez. fEmphasis added] (hereinafter referred to as
the "BP/AR 1312 Complaint")

19. In the BP/AR 1312 Complaint Mr. Lopez outlines all the events that have occurred up to that
time and states that following the meeting the meeting of November 2,2016 described above,
and the detailed explanation of the Pico Pride Connection and the Transfer Student contained in
the November 10,2016 e mail from Mr. Lopezto AD Formano, 65a pattern of retaliation was
being formed and initiated against Robbie by Coach Lopez.66 Mr. Lopez further states that
"We want this harassment, bullying and black balling of our son Robbie to stop as of now,
we want harmony on the field, and we want Robbie to focus on his grades and his future
after his senior year." [Emphasis added]

20. A true and correct copy of the entire BP/AR l3l2 Complaint email is attached hereto as
Exhibit 1 and incorporated by reference.

21, OnNovemb er 22,2016 Principal McReynolds wrote back and stated "we have been looking
further into your allegations of connection between a transfer student and the new head baseball
coach." Further she responded that "Per the harassment and bullying, your request was that we
not make your son aware of your communication. I did speak directly to the coach about the
concern for all students to feel equitably welcomed into the program, as well as spoke with AD
Fromano." She stated that "For further investigation we do require a meeting with your son
specifically to address any specific incidents."

22. OnNovember 28,2016, Mr. Lopez provided Principal McReynolds with more information
per her request and also provided additional information in e mails, CIF rules, and the Transfer
Student to Los Altos High School.
23,OnDecember 8,2016, Mr. Lopezemails Principal McReynolds and asks forupdates onthe
investigation of his BP/AR l3l2 Complaint.

24. On December 9,2016, Cyntha Cabello, Executive Director , Student and Family Services
(hereinafter referred to as "Exec. Dir. Cabello") responds

"Hello Mr. Lopez, Thank you for reaching out. The school site is
conducting interviews and want to ensure an investigation to your
concerns are thoroughly done. I believe they goal was to be
completed by this week. I will be meeting with LAHS next week
and then will contact you for an appointment to discuss the results
of the interview.

My secretary will contact you early next week to set that


appointment up with me here at my office Student and Family
Services at the District Office."

25. OnDecember 12,2016 Robbie is offered a conditional admission to the California State
University, East Bay beginning in Fall Quarter 2017 the Bachelor of Science Program for
Kinesiology.

26. On December 16, 2016, Exec. Dir. Cabello writes Mr. Lopez and informs him that

"We have reached a conclusion to the investigation that was


conducted regarding your following concerns:
1) The validity of a status of transfer for another student
2) Undue influence and coach connections

CIF Southern Section was consulted during the investigation. After


conducting interviews with all parties the District has determined,
the transfer is a valid change of residence; as well, the connection
between coaches is coincidental and no undue influence has
occurred.

If you would like to make an appointment to discuss the results of


our investigation, please call my secretary for an appointment at
(626) 933-433s;',

27. On December 16,2016, Mr. Lopez replied to Exec. Dir. Cabello and tells her that not all
parties were interviewed since he (Mr. Lopez) nor Mrs.Lopez nor Robbie were interviewed to
provide evidence and information about their own complaint. [Emphasis added]

28. On December 19,20L6, Mr. Lopez writes and email to the Superintendent Cynthia Parulan-
Co lfer (hereinaft er "S uperintendent'o) and reiterates :

A. His concerns and complaint about the facts surrounding the Transfer Student and
Coach Lopez' Pico Pride Connection;
B. Harassment of his son which started after the Meeting of November 21 2016
[Emphasis added]; and
C. The fact that he, Mrs. Lopez and Robbie were not interviewed during the investigation
of his BP/AR l3l2 Complaint.

Claim fo_r Damqges by Pa1k91 Rob_grl L-9"p9? IIL So_!99 Lop"ez fl gd N.cy l_op "%
4
zg.With no response from the Superintendent, on January 4,2017,Mr.Lopez writes to the
Board of Education for the District and attaches a copy of his December 19, 2}rc e mail to the
Superintendent and states that he was not given a response by the Superintendent to his two
questions:

A. "If she [the Superintendent] was aware of and current on the situation" regarding the
Transfer Student and his connection to Coach Lopez; and
B. "the subsequent bullying of Robbie Lopez a student who plays Baseball at Los Altos
High Sshool." [Emphasis added]

30. On January 4,2017,the Superintendent writes backto Mr. Lopez and states that she was told
by Exec. Dir. Cabello, Principal McReynolds and Ms. Meneses "that it had been resolved
including their submission for confirmation of no CIF violations to the CIF office. Thank you."

31. Onthe same duy, Mr. Lopez responds by email and clearly states that

"... you keep ignoring the facts that the coach has started and
continues to bully my son Robbie all because of bringing the CIF
violations and the Pico Pride Connection forward to the school....

That is all fine -


You do not address the issues here and skip pass them. My son has
the right to protection from this bully tactics from the CoachLopez
and it is your responsibility by law to insure it stops now.
And this statement about all parties involved being interviewed and
the investigation closed is just wrong. how can you call it an
investigation when my wife, myself and my son Robbie were never
interviewed for are [sic] input of facts as to what was going on and
continues to go on????"

32. OnJanuary 25,2017 Robbie is dismissed from practice because Mr. LopezandMrs. Lopez
have not signed new "Athletics Code /Athletic Philosophy and Information forms. After Mr.
Lopez clears it with AD Formano that Robbie can take the signed papers back to the School on
January 26th,2017 Robbie goes back to practise and informs Coach Lopezthat he was given
permission by AD Formano to return the signed forms the next day and Coach Lopez tells
Robbie "AD Formano is not the coach of this team I am" and after not letting Robbie practice for
about an hour, AD Formano told Coach Lopez to let Robbie practice and he did.

33. On January 28,2017 Robbie is benched the whole game against Cal High even though the
new forms were signed and returned.

34. On January 31,2017 Robbie is the first player to arrive at the game against Downey and is
benched the entire game. Another player arrives l0 minutes before the game starts and he is
allowed to play by Coach Lopez.

35. OnFebruary 4,2017,the Annual Los Altos Baseball Alumni vs. Los Altos Varsity game
(hereinafter referred to as the "Alumni Game") is held at the High School. This is a game that is
not counted in official CIF wir/loss record for the Program. Statistics for the game are not
counted in a player's record; the game is supposed to be a fun day; especially for seniors on the

5
team. Coach Lopez benches Robbie, a senior, a prior 3-year starter, for the entire game. AD
Formano is aware of this fact because he was in the Alumni dugout for the entire game. Assistant
Principal Jeffery Hess was present for the game as well and witnessed the fact that Robbie did
not get an opportunity to play in this annual event. Every senior on the team played except for
Robbie,

36. Following the humiliation of not playing in the Alumni Game, on February 6,2017, Robbie
wrote an e mail to Coach Lopez, AD Formano, Asst. Principal Jeffrey Hess and Exec. Dir.
Cabello at the District. In the e mail Robbie explains that he feels he has been the victim of
"bullying and unfair treatmenttt over the course of the last three to four months by Coach
Lopez. Further he explains he feels as if he had a'(target on his back" and has been "singled
out" and that Coach Lopez told him that nothing in the last 3 years that [Robbie] has
accomplished in the Los Altos Baseball program counts for anything. Coach LopeztoldRobbie
that all the hard work; the blood, sweat and tears Robbie put into the program meant absolutely
nothing. As an example of how he was being singled out, he stated that other players do not
show up for mandatory weight training and show up late to games and still get to play while he
sits on the bench. A true and correct copy of Robbie's February 6,2017 e mail is attached hereto
as Exhibit2 and incorporated by reference.

37 . OnFebruary 27,2017, Los Altos has a game against Victor Valley and Robbie continues to
be benched until last out of the last inning and he is put in to pinch run.

38. On March 4,2017, game against South Hills at Mt. SAC. Robbie did notplay.Transfer
Student, who misses practice, is late to school, did not get a hit. There were four (4) college
scouts in the bleachers watching the game.

39. On March 8,2017, Los Altos has a game against Crescenta Valley. Coach Lopezbrought up
a sophomore to Varsity from JV team and played him ahead of Robbie. Robbie sat on the bench
the entire time while this unproven sophomore was allowed to play. The unproved sophomore
struck out 3 times.

40. On March 14,2017, Los Altos has a double header in Whittier and Robbie still is not given
the opportunity to have an official atbat.

41 . On March 17 ,2017, Los Altos has a game against Diamond Ranch and Robbie is on the
bench again until the last inning when he is put in as a pinch runner.

42. On March 22,2017, Los Altos has a game against Walnut and Robbie is on the bench again
until the last inning when he is put in as a pinch runner.

43. On March 24,2017 Los Altos has a game against Chino Hills and Robbie is on the bench
again.

44, On March 29,2017 Los Altos has a home game against Charter Oak and Robbie is on the
bench again.

45. In game against La Mirada on April 6,2017 , CoachLopez did not allow Robbie to play even
though he was at the game on time and about 7-8 players arrived at 2:00 p.m. right before the
game. The Transfer Student committed another error to add to his total for the season and Robbie
was still not put into the game.

46.\n the game against Walnut on April 21,2017 CoachLopez played all players EXCEPT
Robbie.
47. Since the date of the First Incident for over four (4) months and 14 games, Robbie has been
benched and not the opportunity to show his offensive or defensive capabilities.

II[. CLAIM FOR DAMAGES BASED VIOLATION OF PUBLIC POLICY


and NEGLIGENCE

The California Constitution states that "[a]ll students and staff of public primary, elementary,
junior high and senior high schools have the inalienable right to attend campuses which are safe,
secure and peaceful." (C.A. Const, Art,I, $28 and Cal. Ed. Code 532261)

The California Legislature has declared that in the Safe Place to Learn Act that it is the policy
of the State of Californiato ensure thatthe High School and District"... workto reduce ...
intimidation, and bullying. It is further the policy of the state to improve pupil safety at schools
and the connections between pupils and supportive adults, schools, and communities." (Cal. Ed.
Code $234)

The California Legislature has also declared that as matter of public policy the High School and
District must adopt:

"a policy that "prohibits ... intimidation, and bullying and ... [t]he
policy shall include a statement that the policy applies to all acts
related to school activity ... occurring within a school under the
jurisdiction of the superintendent of the school district." (Cal. Ed.
Code 5234.1(a))

Further, the California Legislature has declared that as a matter of public policy the High School
and District must:

(b) Adopted a process for receiving and investigating complaints of


... intimidation, and bullying ...."
and
(0 Ensured that complainants are protected from retaliation and that
the identity of a complainant alleging ... intimidation, or bullying
remains confidential, as appropriate. (Cal. Ed. Code 5234.1)

Additionally, through Cal" Ed. Code 932261(d) "it is the intent of the Legislature to encourage
school districts ... to develop and implement ... in-service training programs, and activities that
will ... reduce ... bullying. . .."

As defined in CaL Ed. Code $48900 (r)(1):

""Bullying" means any severe or pervasive . .. verbal act or


conduct . . . directed toward one or more pupils that has or can be
reasonably predicted to have the effect of one or more of the
t
,"ruming a reasonable pupil ...in fear of harm to that pupil's

i"i8ffJlls a reasonablepupil to experience a substantially


detrimental effect on his ...mental health.
. (C) Causing a reasonable pupil to experience substantial
interference with his ... academic performance.

7
(D) Causing a reasonable pupil to experience substantial
interference with his . . . ability to participate in or benefit from the
services, activities, or privileges provided by a school...."

Through the 2016-2017 District Annual Information Handbook, the High School and District
adopted each of the above codes and stated that they are the policies of the High School and
District. See 2016-2017 District Annual Information Handbook, pages 6-13.

Based on the above citations it is clear that the High School, the District and Coach Lopez have a
duty to provide Robbie and his parents with a safe and peaceful place to learn free from
intimidation and bullying by CoachLopez,

A. Coach Lopez violated his duty as outlined above by the abuse of his position as head
coach of the Program by committing acts which include, but are not limited to the
following:

1 . Canying out a constant pattern and practice of retaliation against Robbie by benching

for over four months as documented in the Statement of Facts above.


2.By intentionally humiliating and belittling him during the Alumni Game when he let
all the other seniors in the Program play except Robbie; who was a senior and apast two-year
starter in the Program. Even in this type of game all players get into the game for a brief time -
except when retaliation, ill will and intentional attempts to force a student to quit exists. That is
bullying clear and simple and mistreatment of student athletes.
3. When he intentionally kept Robbie from any officialatbats during any of the games
between the dates of November 2,2016 and March 29,20t7.
4. When he intentionally and deliberately promoted sophomores from JV to Varsity and
kept Robbie on the bench.
5.By signaling out Robbie and benching him for arriving late to a game and allowing
other players who missed practice and arrive just before games started to play in games.
6. By treating Robbie differently than the way he treated other players to Robbie's
detriment.
7 ,By applying different standards to Robbie than he did to other players.
a. For instance, when Robbie arrived late for the Montebello game he was benched;
yet when other players arrive just minutes before the game instead of the required time they are
allowed to play and Robbie is still benched. This occurred on November 72,2016 in the game
against Roosevelt High School and on January 31,2017 inthe game against Downey. In the
Roosevelt game, the scheduled starting pitcher arrived late and still played in the game and was
not benched.
b. Coach Lopez has made strength and conditioning practice mandatory on Monday
and Tuesday in the morning and Thursday after practice. In the contract, all players signed in
January it stated that unexcused absences from practice resulted in not playing in the following
or upcoming game. So, for players to miss those mandatory practices and still start the following
games, is where Robbie was held to higher standard.
8. Claim that other players were played ahead of Robbie because they were "better
offensively" according to Coach Lopez. How was he able to sincerely make such a statement
when Robbie has been attending baseball since August and some of these kids who have been
started ahead of Robbie were playing on the varsity football team that went to the football
championship game. Their season ended on Dec 2,2077 . They then had baseball cuts on
December 5th or 6th and went on Christmas vacation from December 15th and went back to
school January 3 or 9,2017. It's been raining like crazy so how did he come to that conclusion
they were "offensively" better since there was minimal time or chance to evaluate?
9. In game against La Mirada on April 6,2017, Coach Lopez did not allow Robbie to
play even though he was at the game on time and aboutT-9 players arrived at2:00 p.m. right
before the game. The game was lost because of an error by Transfer Student and Robbie was still
not put into the game.
10. In the game against Walnut on April2l,2017 Coach Lopezplayed all players
EXCEPT Robbie.

B. The High School violated its duty as outlined above by failing to prevent and stop the
abuse, intimidation and bullying of Robbie by Coach Lopez by committing, or failing to
commit acts which include, but are not limited to the following:

1.By relying on the "coach's discretion" defense when Mr. Lopezand Robbie notified
the High School about the pattern and practice of benching of Robbie by CoachLopez for over 4
months despite the fact that Robbie had been a starter his freshman, sophomore and junior years.
Z.By allowing Coach Lopezto bully and intimidate Robbie despite AD Formano's
knowledge that Coach Lopez told him around October 28,2016 that Robbie "... has been doing
well of late. He has been productive on the field and Coach thinks he will be a solid contributor
on the team this year."
3. By allowing Coach Lopez, after the Meeting of November 2,2016 to carrying out a
pattern and practice of retaliation and bullying against Robbie.
4.By ignoring Coach Lopez' continual and prolonged actions directed against Robbie
despite being informed by Mr. Lopez in his email of November 16,2016 (Exhibit 1) and by
Robbie in his e mail of February 6,2017 (Exhibit 2).
5.By AD Formano's response to Robbie's February 6,2017 email which relied in
essence on the "coach's discretion" defense in spite of the fact that Coach Lopez' discretion was
harming Robbie and a violation of California law. The response by AD Formano completely
ignored the claims of "bullying and unfair treatment" by attributing all of Robbie's claims as
"playing time decisions ... made by the coach." Well when the playing time decisions fit a
pattern and practice of bullying and unfair treatment due to retaliation the school administration
cannot the claims and must investigate the claims of the student athlete.
6.By failing to ensure that Coach Lopez signed the CIF Code of Ethics - for Coaches
before he started to coach (signed only after notified by Claimants on February 2,2017) and
failing to ensure that Coach Lopezadhered to the conditions outlined in the CIF Code of Ethics.

C. The District violated its duty as outlined above by failing to prevent and stop the abuse,
intimidation and bullying of Robbie by Coach Lopez by committing, or failing to commit
acts which include, but are not limited to the following:

1. By failing to conduct a thorough and complete investigation in to the complaints of


Mr. Lopezand Robbie; since the District nor the High School even interviewed Robbie, Mrs.
Lopez or Mr. Lopez to get their specific facts and evidence regarding their complaint.
2.By relying on the School's representation that the matter was all resolved as stated in
the e mail of the Superintendent dated January 4,2017 to Mr. Lopez.
3. By failing to ensure that Coach Lopez signed the CIF Code of Ethics - for Coaches
before he started to coach (signed only after notified by Claimants on February 2,2017) and
failingto ensure that Coach Lopezadheredto the conditions outlined inthe CIF Code of Ethics.

9
IV. CLAIM FOR DAMAGES BASED ON NEGLIGENT HIRING AND RETENTION

The District intentionally violated Cal. Ed. Code $35186 by hiring Coach Lopezto teach classes
which violate the Emergency 30-Day Substitute Teaching Permit issued to Coach Lopez by the
State of California Commission on Teaching Credentialing on July 26,2016. By allowing Coach

Lopez to teach classes he is not qualified or authofized to teach the District and High School
have misassigned Coach Lopez so that he would qualiff to be the Head Coach of the Program.

Misassignment is defined in California Ed Code $35186 as the placement of a certificated


employee in a teaching or services position for which the employee does not hold a legally
rccognized certificate or credential or the placement of a certificated employee in a teaching or
services position that the employee is not otherwise authorized by statute to hold.

Claimants have filed a "Williams Complaint" concunently with this claim for damages and
incorporates it herein. See Exhibit 4

By negligently hiring and employing Coach Lopez for a position he was not qualified for -
solely for the purpose of allowing him to be Head Coach of the Program; the District and the
High School allowed Coach Lopez to violate the above described public policies and commit the
above listed acts of bullying against Robbie. But for Coach Lopez'negligent hiring, he would
not be allowed to be the Head Coach and be in the position to commit the acts complained of
herein.

V. CLAIM FOR DAMAGES BASED ON NEGLIGENT SUPERVISION

The High School and District failed to ensure that Coach Lopez only taught classes for which he
was authorized and qualified to teach. The High School and District allowed Coach Lopez to
teach the same class for more than 30 days under the substitute teacher certificate. He has been
teaching the same class since August.

By negligently supervising Coach Lopez and allowing him to hold a position he was not
qualified for - solely for the purpose of allowing him to be Head Coach of the Program; the
District and the High School allowed Coach Lopez to violate the above described public policies
and commit the above listed acts of bullying against Robbie. But for Coach Lopez' negligent
supervision, he would not be allowed to be the Head Coach and be in the position to commit the
acts complained of herein.

VI. DAMAGES

Claimants have suffered general damages for the pain, suffering and emotional damages as a
result of the violation of public policy, negligence, negligent hiring, retention and supervision by
the District, Los Altos High School and Coach GabrielLopez as detailed herein.

Claim is for an amount greater than $150,000.00.


VII. CLAIMANTS' ATTORNEY

Claimantos attorney iP Michael J. Ponce, Attorney at Law.

M
Michael J. Ponce
Attorney at Law

MJP: mp

Attachments - Exhibits 1-4

q$--Ngtpy- L--op-e-3
Claim for Da-m-p-ge-g- by B-gLqI Rgb-en !-ppez-II-I, -f.ope{-L-op--e"a-{l
tl
EXHIBIT 1
From : Robert Lopez [ma ilto: rlopez@ acorneng.com]
sent: Wednesdoy, November 76, 2076 72:77 PM
To: Cheli M cReynolds <cmcrevnolds@ hlpusd.k12,ca.us>

Cc:
Subject: Coach Gabe Lopez situatlon
lmportance: High

Good Afternoon "


And let me start wlth thls, you may be aware of this situatlon already as lt may have come to your attention,
but just to document and ln an effort to assure that I am following the provlslons for complalnts and appeals
(BP/AR t3t2) -

lam writlngthls morningto express my dlsappolntment and continued dissatlsfaction of the on-going
harassment of my son Robble Lopez by the head Los Altos Coach Gabe Lopez.

A meeting to review and bring several facts to light was held with both Coach Gabe Lopez and with Athletlc
director Andrew Formano on Ll/211'6,

One of those issue's was Coach Gabe Lopez telling my son to buy an outfielders glove or borrow one, And
with that being said the coach further indlcated to Robbie that lt does not matter where you have played or in
what position the last 3 years I will be puttlng players where I feelthat they are commltted to play.

wlth us as we as parents have done everything possible to get Robbie to schoolfor


This was not sitting well
the last3yearsto practlce and games andsupported his efforts L00%, a bigdemonstrated commitmentfor
our family as a unit.

When this was presented Coach Lopez, stated that Robbie had mlsunderstood what he had said.

My wife and I attend thls meetlng ln hopes we could bring to light our concerns with Robble belng moved to
the outfield so that a new transfer student , a junlor could be placed in the Short Stop positlon Robbie had
been playing the last 3 years for the Los Altos Baseballteam.

It was also broughtto light our concerns wlth Plco Prlde an organlzation that Coach Gabe spearheads and that
this student may have come to belng brought lnto Los Altos through hls connection with Coach Gabe, Coach
Gabe did say he knew none of the klds on the team.

The transfer student, came from Nogales Hlgh School where he had prevlously transferred from Blshop Amat
2 weeks prior, this junior who had not trled out or prevlously played with Los Altos was now on the team and
in shortstop position, the student Nlcholas Santlago had at thls point transferred twlce in less than a month,

It was discussed and the meetlng ended an what we thought was a positlve note, all we wanted was a level
playlng field where no kid was given speclal treatment due to any connectlons that Coach Gabe and Formano
assured us did not exlst-

After the meeting we did begin to hear from other parents and through reading newspaper articles that
Coach Gabe Lopez does not like being questloned by parents or his peers ln regards to his coachlng skills or
ta ctics.

We discarded his dislikes at thls tlme and stayed focused on the outcome of the meetlng we had on 11/2 with
Coach Lopez and Athletlc Dlrector Formano-
We know for a fact that a connection does exist with Coach Gabe Lopez and with Nicholas Santiago as follows,
the student was at Bishop Amat and under coach Carmona who oddly enough is involved with Pico Pride, this
kid Nicholas also has a trainer who is the cousin of a trainer named EROD- oddly enough EROD is also involved
with Pico Pride, double Odd is that EROD is also tralnlng the players at Los Altos High School.

EROD is also the brother-in-law of Coach Gabe Lopez-

So we are to believe that Coach Gabe, Coach Carmona, EROD and his cousin never discussed or conspired to
move Nicholas Santiago from Blshop Amat to Los Altos? Via a double transfer arrangement and look as if he
came from Nogales High School? And we know a few things about transfers and how hard they are since
Nogales High and Rowland High are the same district and to this day they give us a hard time and paper work
to fill out...

This was presented to Athletic Director Andrew Formano briefly on LtlT and more detailed in a follow up
e-mail to Mr Formano on 11/10 when it became more obvious that after the meeting on 11./2 a pattern of
retaliation was being formed and initiated against Robbie by Coach Lopez.

Robbie has continuously been moved around into different positions while watching others play current
positions, has been benched when he arrived 10 mins late, only to witness at other times up to 5 players at a
time not be benched for being late, has actually hurt hls wrist while playing and continues to give him Coach
Lopez his best, requested proof of his grades and when shown the actual grades on his cellphone told not
good enough need a hard copy while witnessing the other players not being told the same thing.

Robbie is in his senior year and after 3 years of Shortstop will have coaches and scouts coming to see him
play, so why would it benefit him to be continuously passed around on the field to different positions as a
senior?

How does Nicholas Santiago benefit from short stop positlon as a junior and at the school for less than 2
months now? Does he get more playtime at Los Altos possibly because a lot of people would question how is

it that this kid can be the starter over 2 stud players that are in the newspaper at Bishop Amat?

There is a connection in allthe adults here to somehow spotlight Nicholas Santiago and when it was
presented to Lopez and Formano they tried to squash it and we as parents were ok with that based on the
conclusion that we all wanted the best for Robbie in his senior year, they encouraged us to discuss with him
that he needs to speak up to the coach more often, we felt and told them Robbie has been taught to respect
and follow the leadership of his coach.

We did talk with Robbie to be more outspoken in a courteous way with the coaching staff of Los Altos high
school, the first thing he was presented with was "The last 4 years and anything that happened mean
nothing", I am here and I run this show.

We know how Coach Lopez runs the show through very close sources that have played for Coach Gabe Lopez.

We want this harassment, bullying and black balling of our son Robbie to stop as of now, we want harmony
on the field, and we want Robbie to focus on his grades and his future after his senior year.

Next year Coach Lopez, Athletic Director Andrew Formano, Nicholas Santiago along with his Parents can focus
on the same things we want for Robbie this year and run this program however they or you guys feel fit.
ln closlng I see no solid value in my son knowlng that I have had to take thls extreme measure to lnsure that
this sltuatlon becomes resolved, and he to the best of my knowledge does not know I am wrltlng you today,

He has endured much last year wlth the reslgnatlon of Coach Hector Gulterrez and hls senlor year does not
need to end on a sour note wlth the admlnlstratlon of Los Altos Hlgh School.

Unless of course we need to go further wlth thls to the distrlct super lntent or the board of educatlon and
present all the facts above and many not lncluded due to tylng to present here a verslon that ls Just
highllghted facts ln an effort to conclude thls wlth you.

hoberto Lopez ll
EXHIBIT 2
From: Robbie Lopez lmailtg:roblool 25@qmail.comJ
Sent: Monday, February 06, 2017 1:03 PM
To:
Subject:

Good afternoon,

After recent incidents over the course of the last three to four months I have kept quiet regarding the bullying and
unfair treatment I have been received from Coach Gabe Lopez. Now I've had nothing but good things to say about
the baseball program and it's coaching staff and the treatment I've received. I was brought up through this program
by it's promising coaches who I have learned many things from and have all helped develop my skill on the field and
felt that this was like a second home with a second family. I've been respectful, coachable, I have had no altercations
with any coaches, I've gone to every practice and have had excused for any that I have missed. My senior year, the
year to make things count, one last chance to play my heart out on the field and I feel that I have a target on my back.
That I'm being singled out. After being told that nothing in the last 3 years that I have played for this program counts
for something, for allthe hard work, blood, sweat and tears I've put in to the program to mean absolutely nothing, it
didn't motivate me because that's what I assume a coach's job is, to motivate and develop more skill, those words did
the exact opposite. ln the very first preseason game we had as a program, another player and my self had arrived
late and were benched the entire first game, I had no reason to complain. I was late and the punishment was fair. But
for other players to be late to following games and receive no punishment at all and still start and let alone play the
entire game, where is the fairness in that? Maybe the other players had excuses or the coach did not see them arrive
late. That's understandable, Coach Lopez has made strength and conditioning practiced mandatory on Monday and
Tuesday in the morning and Thursday after practice. l'm sure in the contract we all signed a week ago stated that
unexcused absences from practice resulted in not playing in the following or upcoming game. So for players to miss
those mandatory practices and still start the following games, is where I feel the target on my back. For a player to
steal baseball hats that come in a spirit pack without permission and having paid for it, and the entire team be
punished yet only to still start in games, it's shameful and demoralizing. That l, showing up to every practice including
the morning practices where everyone gets to go home before school and get ready then come back as to where I
stay, 1-2 hours in the cold when no classes are open, how do I not take it personal? How am I supposed to feel? That
I'm not working hard enough? The flnal straw was not starting in an Alumni game which is supposed to be fun and
welcoming, everyone but myself played while I sat on the bench wondering what I did to not play in Alumni game that
you have seen and been apart of yourself and see that everyone play or at least gets into the game once. I'm not
emailing you to complain or bug about nothing, all I am doing is bringing what I've been going through to your
attention and see if I could get any answers or reasons why I'm receiving this kind of treatment. Thank you for your
time, I hope to receive some kind of answers.

Sincerely,

Robbie Lopez
E,XHIBIT 3
PICO PRIDE TABLE

NAME CONNECTION
Pico Pride Organi zation For profit off-site private baseball camp
http ://leaguelineup. com/welcome. asp?url=PICOPzuDE
operated by Coach Lopez. Registered as a
"non-profit" for tax deduction purposes
but is a money generating operation

Coach Lopez 1 Pride Organi zation


. Operates Pico
Z.Head Coach of Los Altos HS
Coach Edgar Rodriguez 1.He is Coach Lopez' brother-in-law
Z.Current Director of Sports Perforrnance
for Pico Pride Organization and Pico
Boys Academy.
3. Coach for Los Altos HS baseball
Program
4. Founder of EROD Training
Coach Gabe Carmona 1. Conditioning Coach at Bishop Amat
when Transfer Student was there
2. Coach for Pico Pride according to
website
Coach Justin Magall anez aka Justin 1 . Transfer Student's strength and

Magz conditioning trainer for 10 years


2, Cousin of Coach Rodrigvez
3. Bishop Amat Strength Coordinator
20t5-20r6
Transfer Student Was at Bishop Amat HS where Coach
Carmona
Little brother of Transfer Student Member of Pico Pride Organization
Tryouts for Pico Pride Held at Los Altos HS per website
EXHIBIT 4
LTW OFFICES OF
MICHAELJ.PONCE
Attorney at Law
9663 Gnnvey AvEruur srE.126 TEL: (626) s7s-sB7B

MTCFIAEL I. PONEE SourH El MorurE, CA 91733 Fnx: (ssa)Bs2-4047

April 22,2017 Via Certified Return Receipt Mail

Jill Rojas
Asst. Superintendent, HR
15959 E, Gale Ave.
City of Industry, CA 9I745

WILLIAMS COMPLAINT BY:

1. Robert Lopez III, by and through


his Parents Robert Lopez II and Nancy Lopez
2. Nancy Lopez
3. Robert Lopez II

Ms. Rojas,

Williams Complaint form submitted by my clients concurently with their


Please find attached a
Claim for Damages (copy attached for your convenience) against the District.

Mibhael J. Ponce
Attorney atLaw

MJP: mp

Enclosure - Williams Complaint w/Copy of Claim for Damages Form


Unlform Gomplalnt Procedure Form
For Educatlon Code Sectlon 35186 complalnts
Education Code (EC) Section 35186 created a procedure forthe filing of complaints concerning deficiencies related
to instructional mlteilals, conditions offacilities that are not maintained ln a clean or safe manner or in good repair,
and teacher vacancy or misassignment. The complaint and rasponse are public documents as provided by statute.
Complaints may be filed anonymously. However, if you wish to receive a response to your complaint, you must
provide the following c.gntact information.
Response requested: E Yes O No
Robeft Lopez ll and 1449 Jellick Avenue Apt. D
Name (Optional): Nancy Lopez Mailinq Address (Optional): Rowland Heishts, CA 917 48

Phone Number Day (Optional): 626,624.8617 Evening (Optional):

lssue of complalnt (please check all that apply):


1, Textbooks and lnsttuctlonal Materials
O A pupil, including an English learner, does not have standards-aligned textbooks or inskuctional
miterials or state-adopted or dlstrict-adopted textbooks or other required instructional materials to use
in class.
O A pupil does not have access to textbooks or instructlonal materials to use at home or afrer school.
Thls does not requlre two sets of textbooks or instructional materials for each pupil.
O Textbooks or lnstructlonal materials arE ln poor or unusablB condition, have missing pages, or are
unreadable due to damage.
O A pupil was provlded photocopied Eheets from only a portion of a textbook or instructional materials to
address a shortage of textbooks or instructional materials.
2. Facility Condltlons
B A condition poses an urgent or emergency threat to the health or safety of students or staff, including:
gas leaks, nonfunctionlng heating, ventilation, flre sprlnklers or air-conditionlng systems, electrlcal
power failure, major sewer line stoppage, major pest or vermin infestation, broken windows or exterior
doors or gates that will not lock and that pose a seourity rlsk, abatement of hazardous materials
previously undiscovered that pose an immediats threat to pupils or statf, structural damage creating a
hazardous or uninhabitable condition, and any other emergency conditions the school district
determin6s appropriate.
O A school restroom has not been maintained or cleaned regularly, ls not fully operational, or has not
been stocked at all times with tollet paper, soap, and paper towels or functional hand dryers.
tr The school has not kept all restrooms open during school hours when pupils are not in classes, and
has not kept a sufficlent number of restrooms open during school hours when pupils are in classes.
3. Teacher Vacancy or Mlsasslgnmont
tr Teacher vacancy - A semester begins and a teacher vacancy exists. (A teacher vacancy is a position
To which a single designated certificated employee has not been assigned at the beginning of the year
for an entire year or, ifthe position is for a one-semester course, a position to which a single designated
certificated employee has not been assigned at the beginning of a semester for an entire semester.)
El Teacher misassignment - A teacher who lacks credentials or training to tgach English learners is
._ assigned to teach a class wlth more than 20 percent English learner pupils in the class.
6l Teacher misassignment - A teacher ls assignd to teach a class for which lhe teacher lacks subject
matter competency.
4. High School Exlt Examinatlon (For school dlstrlcts who recelve lntenslve lnstructlon funds)
d Puplls who have not passed the high school exit exam by the end of 12rh grade were not provided the
opportunity to recelve int6nsive instruction and sgrvlces pursuant to Education Code 37254 (d) (4)
and (5) after the completion of grad6 12.
Date of Problem: Julv 2016 to Present

Location of Problem (School Name, Address, and Room Number or Location): Los Altos High School
15325 E. Los Robles Ave, Hacienda Heights, CA 91744

Course or Grade Level and Teacher Name: Enslish 1 & 3, Study Skills Class by Gabriel Lopez

Please describe the issue of your complaint in detail. You may attach additional pages if necessary to fully describe
the situation. See Attached Statement of Facts that is incorporated herein.

Please fil6 this complaint at the following location:


(School Principal or William F. Roberts lV, Assistant Superintendent, Human Resources 15959 E. Gale Ave., City
of lndustry, CA 91745)
ATTACHMENT TO WILIAMS COMPLAINT

The High School hired Coach Gabriel "Gabe" Lopez(hereinafter referred to as "Coach Lopez")
to be the new head coach for the Varsity Program in July 2A16, This is the FIRST high school
baseball program head coaching position for CoachLopez,

Coach Lopez is also hired by the HaciendaLaPuente Unified School District (hereinafter
refened to as "District") to teach classes at the High School,

Coach Lopezholds an Emergency 30-Day Substitute Teaching Permit (hereinafter refened to as


the "Teaching Permit") issued by the State of California Commission on Teaching Credentialing
on July 26,2016 and expires on August 1, 2017,

Pursuant to California laws and regulations the Teaching Permit only authorizes Coach Lopezto

"serve as a day-to-day substitute teacher in any classroom ...for no more


than 30 days for any one teacher during the school year, except in a
special education classroom, where the holder may serve for no more
than 20 days for any one teacher during the school year""

The District and School have knowingly and intentionally violated the Teaching Permit laws and
regulations by allowing Coach Lopez to substitute teach for one teacher for more than 30 days in
order to qualify him to be Head Coach of the Varsity Program.

The District intentionally violated CaL Ed, Code $35186 by hiring Coach Lopez to teach classes
which violate the Emergency 30-Day Substitute Teaching Permit issued to Coach Lopezby the
State of California Commission on Teaching Credentialing on July 26,2016. By allowing Coash

Lopezto teach classes he is not qualified or authofizedto teach the District and High School
have misassigned Coach Lopez so that he would qualify to be the Head Coach of the Program.

Misassignment is define d in CaL Ed, Code $3 5 1 86 as the placement of a certificated employee


in a teaching or services position for which the employee does not hold a legally recognized
certificate or credential or the placement of a certificated employee in a teaching or services
position that the employee is not otherwise authorizedby statute to hold.

By negligently hiring and employing Coach Lopez for a position he was not qualified for -
solely for the purpose of allowing him to be Head Coach of the Program; the District and the
High School allowed Coach Lopezto teach in violation Cal. Ed, Code $35186,

The High School and District failed to ensure that Coach Lopez only taught classes for which he
was authorized and qualified to teach. The High School and District allowed Coach Lopezto
teach the same class for more than 30 days under the substitute teacher certificate. He has been
teaching the same class since August.

By negligently supervising Coach Lopez and allowing him to hold a position he was not
qualified for - solely for the purpose of allowing him to be Head Coach of the Program; the
District and the High School allowed Coach Lopez to violat e Cal, Ed, Code $3 5 1 86.