MORENO VALLEY (CBSLA) — Parents are being accused of setting a bad example following the death of a bullied 13-year-old boy who struck his head on a concrete pillar after being punched at a Moreno Valley middle school.
The boy, identified only as Diego, was pronounced clinically dead Tuesday night as a result of the injuries he sustained in the Sept. 16 attack.READ MORE: Man Shot While Walking Dogs In Hollywood, 2 French Bulldogs Stolen
A vigil was held at Landmark Middle School in Moreno Valley Wednesday night but grief turned to anger when Moreno Valley Unified Superintendent Dr. Martinrex Kedziora arrived.
Hundreds of parents and students attended the candlelight vigil where some of the parents were accused of setting a bad example by “bullying” Kedziora.
“Now parents are bullying the superintendent…that’s not going to solve anything,” said one parent.
Kedziora addressed the mourners briefly stating that his goal was to work with the community and to support them, but some in the crowd questioned his sincerity.
“What did the school district do? Nothing,” one woman said. “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?”
Others said Kedziora should resign for what they said was a lack of action to curb an ongoing problem with bullying.
What started as an emotional tribute to the teen, ended with Kedziora seeking shelter inside of the school behind locked doors as Riverside County sheriff’s deputies stood outside.
District officials had no comment on the exchange, saying only that they had extra security and counselors on-hand Thursday to help students and families deal with their grief.READ MORE: At Least 2 Homes Destroyed When Wind-Whipped Fire Rips Through Bloomington Neighborhood
Some said they hoped there would be more productive conversations in the future that help parents and teachers work together to prevent bullying, which is what happened Thursday night as families gathered at the school to honor the teen.
Instead of the regularly scheduled school board meeting, students of the school put on a ceremony remembering and honoring the life of Diego.
“He was really funny and really nice,” Cassandra Huitron, a friend of Diego’s, said. “Like I couldn’t believe he got hurt so badly.”
Renee Sandoval, a resident of Hemet, drove out to the school to teach her daughter about what happened to Diego could happen to anyone else who’s being bullied.
“To hear that nine days later he didn’t make it, that’s going to trouble me for a very long time,” she said. “So many lives are town up because these kids are getting away with too much.”
Diego’s friends who rose the bus to school with him on a daily basis said the same two students who assaulted him had bullied him before. A student said that the three boys used to be friends, but a week before the assault that killed him, one of those students hit Diego in the face.
But she said Diego didn’t want to fight, so he told his parents who told the school. It’s unclear whether the school received a report or whether they did anything to follow up with the allegations.
In light of Diego’s death, the school said it created a new position, one that would be responsible for monitoring and following up on all reports of bullying.
“We realized that we needed to do more and be more responsive to students when they report it,” Kedziora said.MORE NEWS: UCLA Runner Chris Weiland Dismissed From Team Over Racial, Homophobic Slurs
The school district will also be putting a new button on its website where students and parents can anonymously report bullying.