Kayla Cuevas' mother files $110M lawsuit against Brentwood School District
A Brentwood mother has filed a $110 million lawsuit against the Brentwood Union Free School District, claiming the district knew MS-13 gang members were harassing her daughter and threatened her life but did nothing about it.
"They let my daughter into that environment with no protection. They told me my daughter was safe and she wasn't," said Evelyn Rodriguez, the mother of Kayla Cuevas.
News 12 Long Island has reported extensively about 16-year-old Cuevas and her friend, 15-year-old Nisa Mickens, who were found beaten and stabbed in Brentwood last September.
More than a half-dozen alleged MS-13 gang members were indicted in their killings.
In the federal lawsuit, Rodriguez claims school officials "refused to take action to rectify the problem of bullying" at the hands of known MS-13 members for two years.
Rodriguez says she and her daughter made repeated complaints about threats at the school to the dean, who said he would address the problem but didn't.
"They lied to me. They lied to my daughter," Rodriguez said.
In the days leading to Kayla's murder, Rodriguez said school officials failed to intervene when another student threatened her daughter using throat-slicing gestures.
A district spokesperson had no comment for News 12 about the lawsuit.
Rodriguez said the lawsuit is about making the school more safe, not about the money.
Robert Mickens, Nisa Mickens' father, said he has no plans to sue and that he does not blame the school for the killings.
"A school can only do so much while a child is in school, on school grounds," he said. "The incident happened two hours after...It's not the school's fault."