Two white teenage boys have been arrested after they allegedly created a group named KKK – the Kill Katie Klub – that drove their victim out of their high school.
Katie Uffens, 16, dropped out of Westview High School in San Diego, California after she could endure the relentless bullying no longer – but even then, classmates taunted her online, she said.
‘I didn’t know if it was a joke or they were really trying to kill me,’ the former cheerleader told KGTV.
Forced out: Katie Uffens dropped out of her high school after bullies allegedly created a KKK – Kill Katie Klub
Her mother, Giselle Uffens, a former Mrs. California, asked the school administration for help and appealed to the San Diego police, who at first declined to press charges, citing lack of evidence.
So the concerned mother collected the cruel comments on Facebook and Twitter and recorded dozens of allegedly threatening phone calls made to their home.
‘The kids didn’t stop, they kept calling us, calling us, calling us,’ she said. ‘The hate has increased dramatically. I can’t even verbalize in words how badly it’s damaged my family.’
During this time, Katie dropped out of the school and enrolled in a home-school charter program.
Struggle: She said even when she dropped out of the school, cruel messages continued online
Taunts: Two boys were arrested at the school. Nick Aguirre said he was involved but the KKK was a joke
Authorities eventually intervened this month and two boys at the school, who were not identified by police because of their age, were arrested on a misdemeanor charge.
One of the accused bullies, Nick Aguirre, admitted to KGTV that he had been involved but that the Kill Katie Klub was just a joke.
‘Basically, what I said to one of my friends was Kill Katie Klub,’ Aguirre said. ‘It was a one-liner thing. We never had any intentions to hurt anybody.’
But he maintained that he was the victim – as Katie herself had been guilty of bullying – and how humiliating it had been to be dragged from school in handcuffs.
‘People don’t really like her at Westview,’ he said. ‘Not because people bully her but because she’s bullied people at Westview.’
Cruel: After the police said they did not have enough evidence, her mother started saving online messages
Scene: Katie has since left Westview High School in San Diego and is now home schooled
He added that he was accused of making threatening phone calls and yet he never had. ‘No matter how many times I told her, I swore on the Holy Bible, she was convinced,’ he said.
The teenagers were both later released but both face possible criminal charges. Once authorities complete the report, the juvenile district attorney will determine if charges will be filed.
Officials at Westview, which was also attended by Colorado shooter James Holmes, said: ‘Incidents are taken seriously and investigated. We work very closely with law enforcement when appropriate.’
When the boys were arrested on September 12, the school sent a letter to parents reminding them of the institution’s zero-tolerance police on bullying.
Yet the Uffens family has hired a lawyer and said it intends to sue the district for failing to do more to protect their daughter, despite their appeals for help.