Diego’s Last Day of School


Nicolle Lopez, Junior

On September 16, 2019, it was 13-year-old Diego Stolz’s last day walking through the gates of Landmark Middle School located in Moreno Valley.

That day, Diego was attacked by two of his peers, leaving him unconscious. After nine days of being hospitalized, the Riverside County Sheriff Department announced Diego “clinically dead.” He remained on life support while his family arranged to donate his organs.

A bystander recorded the attack via cell phone. The video shows a boy punching Diego, causing him to fall and hit his head on the concrete. Once on the floor, he received a second punch. Individuals who witnessed the scene say that white foam was coming out of his mouth.

The sheriff department arrived shortly after the incident to investigate the situation. The two boys who punched Diego, whose names are not disclosed to the public due to their age, were arrested that evening. They were both sent to Riverside Juvenile Hall, where they were charged with assault and scheduled for a hearing in October.

On Wednesday night, a vigil took place where parents became angered after they saw the Moreno Valley Unified School District’s Superintendent, Martinrex Kedziora. They questioned him on what his plans are to stop incidents like this from occurring in the future.

Kedziora addressed the mourners of the crowds by saying, “We will make sure the appropriate support, the appropriate consequences, the appropriate measures are taken.” The school since then has hired therapists and behavior specialists who will be available to talk to both students and their parents.

Students and parents confess that bullying has been an ongoing issue in the school, and administration seems to do nothing about it. They hope this situation is a wake-up call. Karla Palumbo, a mother from the school community, shares, “It angers me, more than anything, that it takes a child to have to lose their life for them to step up.”

Diego’s situation serves as a reminder that bullying is an ongoing problem in schools. It should be taken seriously and addressed in a proactive fashion.