A 13-year-old boy from California has died after being hit by two classmates in an attack, which was recorded on camera.
The victim has only been identified by his first name, Diego, who was announced clinically dead on Tuesday, said the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department. Diego has been hospitalized since last week’s attack at Landmark Middle School in California’s Moreno Valley, situated at 65-miles East of Los Angeles. The Sheriff’s Department has informed that the victim’s family will donate his organs “to transform this tragedy into the gift of life for other children”.
Families of around 33000 students Moreno Valley Unified School District has outrageously reacted after September 16’s attack. Last Friday, the parents and students have gathered in a “Ditch for Diego” Protest that started from a Community Park to the District’s Registration Office. His death on September 24 has provoked more memorials, vigils and protests confrontations with District Officials, who have been accused of misconduct in what they termed as a extensive bullying problem.
Social media video of the attack shows that the victim has to face a taller boy, who looked away before suddenly hits Diego in the head. Another boy quickly follows with a punch that appears to knock the victim’s head into a concrete pillar. Now, the first boy punches the victim on the ground, as students can be heard screaming.
The victim’s classmate told sources that the boy had been bullied before, including on social media.
The two boys were detained and face the juvenile court equivalent of assault charges, said the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office. Neither the convicted boys have been named as they are both minors. The initial hearings for each convict are scheduled for October 2 and October 15. A spokesperson of the Prosecutor’s Office, John Hall has claimed that the charges could be revised as the office receives the latest information in the probe.
A 40-year-old Karlo Palumbo, who is a parent was quoted saying, “We’re all very furious. We’re obviously mourning the death of this child,” adding that “and more than anything, [families in the school district] want justice. The community has had enough.”
Ms. Palumbo’s three kids also attend schools in the same district, alleged that they have also experienced bullying incidents but the district has failed to reply to in an adequate way. One of her daughters, 14, has come home from elementary school with bruises after her classmate physically abused her.
She continued, “[Bullying] is all over the Moreno Valley school district. My daughter, still to this day, has been getting bullied – and not only by students, but by teachers,” adding that “you can see staff walking by these fights, and they don’t step in, they just walk away.”
However, the Moreno Valley Unified School District did not immediately reply to written requests for comment on the charges of pervasive bullying. Sources also reached out for information on the district’s protocols for how teachers are likely to manage to bully and over safety and security measures at Landmark and other district schools.
During a press conference on Wednesday, the Moreno Valley Unified School District Superintendent Martinrex Kedziora has addressed the concern and asked the district to take measures in place to keep students “safer than they’ve ever been”. He continued that there needs more security personnel at Landmark, more mental health resources offered to students and a tip line, where students can allege bullying. Mr. Kedziora said that teachers were more vigilant in looking out for warning signs of violence.
However, he refused to say if he thought the death of Diego was preventable, adding that “It’s still under investigation, so I really can’t comment on that at this time.”
During the process of investigation, students and parents have confronted that the Superintended, who has been asked to resign from the post.
Mia Carino has said, “We came here for Diego, and we came here for the community and our children,” adding that Kedziora “owes us answers”. “Where was the security? Why did Diego’s family come a week before the attack? They reported the bullying, and nothing happened.” said the parent, whose kid is about to attend Landmark in a few years.