A 13-year-old boy from Moreno Valley, California has from injuries he sustained during a bullying incident.
The boy’s head struck a pillar after he was hit by a bully. The incident was caught on video.
The middle school boy know only as Diego was pronounced clinically dead on the night of Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2019 from injuries he sustained on Sept. 16.
A vigil was held in Diego’s memory, but the vigil turned tense and a school official decided to stay inside the locked school with deputies for protection.
The vigil was held Wednesday night at Landmark Middle School in Moreno Valley where Diego attended school. Grief turned to anger when Moreno Valley Unified Superintendent Dr. Martinrex Kedziora arrived.
“We are here for Diego,” one girl said through tears. “Diego lost his life today. Diego’s not here no more.”
Hundreds of parents and students attended the vigil at the middle school. Parents became angry because the school did not do anything when Diego reported he was being bullied.
“What did the school district do? Nothing,” one woman remarked. “What did the school district do a week before, when the mother came pleading for her son’s life? They did nothing. Where is the superintendent?”
Kedziora stated that he wants to work with members of the community and support them. Not everyone trusted his sincerity. Some believe he should be fired for not attending to the ongoing bullying issue.
The Superintendent had to seek shelter inside the locked school building while Riverside County Sheriff’s deputies stood post outside.
“I just hope that all this teaches a lesson to the school district, because it’s the one who needs to do something about it,” one woman said.
The Riverside County District Attorney’s Office said it filed complaints against two juveniles charging them with assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury in connection with the attack.
Two 13-year-old boys have been arrested for the assault which was caught on video. The boys are in juvenile hall and will remain there until prosecuted.
“Rigorous medical intervention and treatment efforts at an area hospital were unsuccessful,” sheriff’s officials said in the Facebook page announcing the victim’s death. “The Sheriff’s Department joins the community in mourning the loss of this young man.”
Deputies responded to the emergency call at 1:10 p.m. Cellphone video that circulated on social media showed Diego being hit in the face by one boy, then sucker-punched on the side of his head by another. The second punch caused him to fall and hit his head against a pillar. Then, the first boy ran over to hit Diego again while he was on the ground. He ran off and the video ended.
Diego was rushed to the hospital in critical condition.
Students say that Diego has been bullied before and that it is a school-wide problem.
Diego’s family has decided to donate his organs “to transform this tragedy into the gift of life for other children.”
By Jeanette Smith
CBS News: Boy, 13, dies from injuries from alleged bullying attack in Southern California middle school
KTLA 5: 13-Year-Old Boy Dies More Than a Week After Being Sucker-Punched on Moreno Valley Middle School
Image Courtesy of Philipp Beckers’ Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Diego, 13, Dies After School Bullying Attack added by Jeanette Smith on September 26, 2019
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