DA Declines to File Battery Charge Against Teacher Who Physically Forced 9-Year-Old to Mask; Charges Dad With Campus Disruption Instead – Opinion

RedState readers may recall the harassment and bullying Kamdin Hernandez was subject to from teachers and administrators at Simi Valley High School. He was not allowed to wear a full-face mask over his nose throughout school days. Due to Kamdin’s attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), wearing a face mask so distracted him that he was unable to concentrate on his school work, yet teachers and administrators berated him in front of classmates, physically blocked him from entering the door into the school, locked him out of his classroom, physically pulled the mask up over his nose against his wishes, and more.

Kamdin’s father, Tim Hernandez, stood up for his son on numerous occasions, and has now been “rewarded” with a criminal complaint for “campus disruption” on August 13, 2021, despite the fact that he came to campus because both a teacher and the principal asked him to because they would not allow him to stay at school unless he wore a mask (i.e., no accommodations).

June 22, 2022 Criminal Complaint against Tim Hernandez, Ventura County Superior Court

At the same time, RedState can reveal that the Ventura County District Attorney’s office has decided to not pursue misdemeanor assault charges against the teacher who touched Kamdin without his permission and pulled the mask up over his nose – despite the fact that the teacher admitted she did so and an independent investigator determined that the act was “inappropriate.”

Hernandez was charged under California Penal Code Section 6626.7 (a), and the Complaint alleges that Hernandez:

“[D]id willfully and unlawfully enter and fail to leave, and did re-enter, the campus and facility of Garden Grove Elementary School following the direction to leave the facility by the chief administrative officer and his/her designee.”

In a nutshell, based on video and audio recordings made that day by Mr. Hernandez and statements the principal made to an independent investigator, it’s clear that Hernandez is not guilty and never should have been charged. These materials show that Hernandez was asked to come to the school to pick Kamdin up, was never told that he wasn’t supposed to be there or to leave, and didn’t come back to the school after taking his son home.

That day Kamdin was there for the beginning of the school day, at 8:10 a.m. Hernandez got a call at 9:02 that morning from Ms. Prisk, a teacher at Garden Grove Elementary School, telling him he needed to come pick Kamdin up because he wouldn’t wear the mask:

“He’s refusing to wear it, and so I’m calling to let you know that you need to pick him up.”

Prisk told Hernandez that when she asked Kamdin to wear the mask, he had told her that he “can’t think” with the mask on and “that he feels stressed about wearing it in class.” Hernandez recorded that call, which can be heard below.

Within the conversation Hernandez also asked why the principal wasn’t calling, and what the long-term plan for his son’s education was since Kamdin wasn’t able to learn while wearing a face mask, and discussed mandates and medical exemptions. He told her he was out running errands and couldn’t get there right that minute.

At 9:18 am, Principal Perryman called Hernandez. His wife was still in her car. Perryman explained that Kamdin’s only recourse under her mask mandate was for the parents to pick Kamdin up. The call was also recorded and can be heard here.

Perryman was unaware that Hernandez was returning to school from the road when he called. He hung up when he reached the school and began walking in front of the building with his smartphone’s video camera. Perryman did not tell him to leave or that he wasn’t allowed to be there, according to the video. She stated:

I’ll be contacting the school resource officer to have another conversation with you because now you’re not following direct guidelines about recording on campus.

Hernandez’s video is one minute long and covers the time from when he walked through the school doors and then went out of the office toward Kamdin’s classroom, accompanied by Perryman.

Perryman claimed that Hernandez told him at the beginning his video,

“This is the woman who is emotionally abusing my son. Her retaliation against me and my child is quite shocking. She is about to lose her job. I hope the $160,000 salary was worth losing.”

Video clearly shows that he did not say what he claimed. The video clearly shows that he stated:

“This is the lady that likes to kick kids out because they’re stressed.”

The independent investigator’s report stated:

“On August 13, 2021, Ms. Prisk and Mrs. Perryman contacted parent to request that parent pick his son up from school because K.H. was refusing to wear his mask indoors, which is required according to guidance from California Department of Public Health and Ventura County Public Health.”

“Parent” referenced in the report is Tim Hernandez, since he was the person who filed the report. The report also states that when Hernandez and Perryman reached Kamdin’s classroom, Hernandez attempted to ask the teacher present if she was the one who had physically pulled up Kamdin’s mask before, but Perryman stepped in and said they were not going to discuss the matter at that time and asked the teacher to get Kamdin. Then, Hernandez and Kamdin “turned and walked away.” While they didn’t follow Perryman’s request to go through the main gate, instead going through the office (perhaps because that’s the way Hernandez came in and where his car would have been), they still left peaceably, according to the report — which relied upon statements made by Perryman and other school employees.

(The entire independent investigator’s report can be read here.)

Additionally, Hernandez was threatened by school officials with being charged for trespassing at the school’s campus. However, Hernandez was not allowed to be there on Monday August 16th 2021. Hani Youssef, then SVUSD Assistant Superintendent, directed one School Resource Officer to go to Hernandez’s home to issue him a trespassing ticket. Hernandez declined to take it.

At the same time, Hernandez complained to the Simi Valley Police Department that Kamdin’s teacher had committed assault by touching him without his permission to pull up his face mask. In the investigator’s report the teacher admitted that she had done so, but said that she was used to teaching younger students and physically helping them with things like tying their shoes and untangling hair and that was why she physically “assisted” him with his face mask without his consent. After the investigator concluded her actions were correct, the teacher was contacted by the school district.

Despite this admission, the District Attorney’s office declined to pursue any charges against the teacher, including simple battery. To prove simple battery under California Penal Code 242, the DA’s office would simply have to show that the teacher:

  • You intentionally touched someone by force
  • If the force being used is considered to be insulting or harmful,

Now, I’m not an attorney and I cannot say whether the force needed to pull the mask up over the nose of an unwilling 4th grader is sufficient to qualify for a criminal charge, but from Kamdin’s and his father’s own words I believe they perceive the force used as insulting. It also seems that the amount of evidence to pursue this misdemeanor charge is at least as weighty as the evidence of any campus disruption charge — and there’s possibly even more evidence for a simple battery charge than a campus disruption charge.

RedState contacted Ventura County District Attorney Erik Nasarenko’s office to request documents relating to all conversations between any SVUSD employee and the District Attorney’s office regarding this case, and for all affidavits and documents supporting such charges. We also asked how they matter came to the District Attorney’s office, and whether or not charges against the teacher were considered. The District Attorney’s office is working to provide the documents requested within the statutory guidelines, but in the meantime provided the following answers to the questions submitted:

  1. The case [against Mr. Hernandez]of the SVPD to be reviewed by our office [Simi Valley Police Department]On August 25, 2021 it was transferred to a misdemeanor case queue that would be reviewed. This is arranged by the date of infraction. Due to backlogs from COVID shut downs, the cases cannot be reviewed right away. DDA Rayburn reviewed each case according to the order in which it was received on June 15, 2022.
  2. This case [against the teacher]This case was filed to our office on January 21, 2022 for the review of the SVPD criminal charges. It was also placed in the same line of misdemeanor cases that was to be reviewed. On June 15, 2022, the case was also reviewed by our office in accordance with the current order. Criminal charges in this instance will not be brought after the review.

It’s interesting that the case against the teacher wasn’t submitted until January 21, 2022, when Hernandez was much more vocal about what was happening with his son, but that’s It is not the District Attorney’s fault. We also don’t yet know what information was presented to the DA’s office from SVPD or from the school district — and what information was not presented.

Our final article on this saga reported that Julie Ellis, SVUSD’s Director of Elementary Education, contacted the Hernandez Family to initiate the Section 504 Accommodations evaluation. Ellis was notified by the Hernandez family that Kamdin has been diagnosed with ADHD, and that Kamdin is suffering anxiety-related problems. Hernandez had posted videos to his Instagram, drawing attention to the problems the Hernandez family was facing. RedState knew about the story and made contact.

Kamdin is now preparing to enter 5th grade, and the mask mandates are over in California schools — and according to Ventura County officials they won’t return here. it seems like there’s not a factual basis for any criminal charges against Tim Hernandez at all, but even if there were, at what point does Simi Valley Unified School District, the Simi Valley Police Department, and the Ventura County District Attorney’s office determine that the family has been harassed enough and allow the healing to begin? This isn’t about a pissing match between adult men. It is all about education for a child.

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