BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - The parents of an 8-year-old California girl filed a claim against the Bakersfield City School District after a dog visiting the child’s classroom allegedly bit her, cutting open the right side of her face, KGET reported.
Leilani Rivera was bitten by the animal, who had been brought to a second-grade glass at Wayside Elementary School on May 9 by a guest reader, KBAK reported.
The reader, Ann Ardell, brought two dogs into the classroom and invited students to pet them, KGET reported. When Leilani went to hug one of the animals the dog bit her, cutting her face and splitting her lip, the television station reported.
"I was crying and it was painful," Leilani said Thursday at the law office of Chain Cohn Stiles, which is filing the claim against the Bakersfield City School District and Kern County’s superintendent of schools.
Leilani was taken to a hospital, where she underwent two hours of facial reconstructive surgery, KBAK reported.
Bakersfield police spokesman Sgt. Nathan McCauley said owner Ann Ardell’s dog, which was either a chow-chow or Akita, was quarantined by animal control and released May 11, KGET reported. The incident did not appear to be intentional on the part of Ardell, McCauley told the television station.
The school district issued a written statement, saying school officials immediately sought medical attention for Leilani and began an investigation, KGET reported. Since then, the school district said that due to pending litigation, it had been advised by legal counsel not to comment further, the television station reported.
The claim is designated as "unlimited," meaning exceeding $25,000, KGET reported.