CHESHIRE – A Doolittle student who died in December fought with a classmate the previous month and was disciplined, according to a police report on the incident.
Anjelita Estrada, 11, died on Dec. 23. Officials ruled her death a suicide.
Cheshire police released a report Wednesday on the Nov. 26 fight this week. The names of students and the last name of a parent who reported his daughter had been attacked were redacted. Estrada’s role in the fight was identified in a report on her death also released by police.
According to officers, the fight occurred during recess in an area with no teachers present. A student was pushed and grabbed by the hair and neck.
Since the children’s names are redacted, it’s unclear who initiated the fight. Estrada received an in-school suspension the following day and the other student received no discipline.
“According to Principal (Russ) Hinckley, this type of discipline is consistent with the discipline served in the past for similar incidents and is consistent with Cheshire Public Schools policies,” said police officer David Maliar in the report.
Estrada’s father Anthony Estrada, who lives in Arizona, said his daughter had been called names based on her ethnicity. While the report on the November fight mentioned insults between students, none involved race or ethnicity.
According to the police report on Anjelita Estrada’s death, a teacher had reported the girl as a victim of bullying prior to her death. A family member also said Anjelita Estrada "felt bullied in school because she is Hispanic." Details of bullying were not included in the November report.
The family member told police in December that the November fight was with one of the girls who had been bullying her.
School Superintendent Jeff Solan said he couldn't comment on specifics of the case due to privacy laws surrounding students and student discipline.
The father of the unnamed girl involved in the fight initially wanted Anjelita Estrada arrested, according to the report, but later withdrew the complaint saying he was only upset at what had happened to his daughter.
According to police interviews, the 11-year old’s death followed a fight with a family member at home during Christmas break.
Faith Vos Winkel, state assistant child advocate, said the child fatality review panel met Wednesday and started a preliminary review of the case. The panel is still gathering reports and other information on the case and will likely make a decision whether or not to conduct a full investigation at its March meeting.
Vos Winkel said the panel reviews all child fatalities but doesn’t do full investigations on all deaths. Panel members are looking for “systems implications” and whether procedures failed in a particular case.