Student who fatally overdosed at Bernstein High was missing for 8 hours, attorney says

The family of 15-year-old Melanie Ramos filed a lawsuit against the Los Angeles Unified School District following Melanie's overdose death at Bernstein High School. 

The suit alleges the district knew the campus bathrooms were a ‘drug haven’ where students regularly buy, sell and consume drugs.

Melanie died in September after taking a fentanyl-laced pill. 

According to the family's attorney, Melanie's mom got a phone call from the school around 12:30 p.m. saying that she didn't show up for class. The mother asked the school to look for Melanie, because she knew her daughter went to school. The next time the mother heard from anyone was around 2 a.m., when detectives came to her house to inform her that Melanie died. 

"If they find a child is missing that’s a big red flag, they should go look for the child in that moment, but they didn’t do that," said attorney Luis Carrillo. 

Melanie was found in the school bathroom around 8:30 p.m. by the father of another student.   

During a press conference Wednesday, Carrillo said Melanie was in the school bathroom for eight hours before she was found. 

"In those eight hours she could have received life-saving medical attention, but she didn’t receive the medical attention because the incompetence did not search for her."

RELATED: 'We won't see our Melanie grow': Family speaks after 15-year-old girl dies from fentanyl poisoning

Attorney Michael Carrillo said a simple sweep of the classrooms and bathrooms could have prevented this tragic death. 

Carrillo told reporters at the press conference that the school's assistant principal told the family it was his fault, that it was his job to check the bathrooms. He allegedly told the family that the bathrooms were closed for the day, but Carrillo and family members say that is a lie since Melanie was found in the bathroom. 

"Yes the school failed in many ways. They failed not only Melanie, but they failed all the other children that are having overdoses on campus. Yes there’s Narcan now, but it’s because of Melanie," stated Gladys Manriques, Melanie's aunt. 

The aunt said Melanie bought the drugs at school and the two other students who overdosed bought them at the park. The family says the school is not doing anything to help prevent drug overdoses or protect their students. 

RELATED: ‘Rainbow fentanyl’: DEA warns of colorful synthetic drugs aimed at attracting young people

"We have a serious, serious failure to protect and supervise these kids, and it cost Melanie's life."