MORENO VALLEY (CBSLA) — It has been one month since 13-year-old Diego Stolz died from injuries sustained after being punched at Landmark Middle School in Moreno Valley — and only one day since the school’s most recent alleged assault.
The Moreno Valley Unified School District Board held a meeting Tuesday night where parents and students addressed the members, telling them stories of bullying they have faced on campus.
“Where was y’all when I needed you,” one student said through tears. “I needed your help.”
The teenage students were painfully honest with the school board members about the state of bullying across their campuses — even from teachers.
“My math teacher literally one day, third period, she snapped and told us that it was our fault Diego passed away,” another student said.
On Monday, a female student at Landmark Middle School was the latest victim of an alleged assault.
“These girls had time to punch my daughter in the face nine times,” Julie, the victim’s mother, said to the board.
Julie said her daughter Makayla was assaulted by two girls — a 12-year-old and a 13-year-old — who were caught bullying her daughter two weeks before. The school district said an incident report was made and that Julie was notified, but she disputed that saying she was never told.
“I’m really uneasy about it,” Julie said. “I’m scared to send her to school, now I’m worried.”
Two female students were arrested on suspicion of battery following the alleged assault.
The board held the special meeting to discuss bullying, discipline and the efficacy of the district’s current BullyStop 360 program — a program some said was better suited for elementary school students.
“My question is how are we measuring the success of these programs,” Darrell Peeden, MVUSD board member, said. “If we don’t have a measuring tool, then we need one, and that is part of the problem.”
The school district said in a statement that it was continuing to work collaboratively with parents, students, staff, the community and law enforcement to identify and address the root causes of and to prevent future incidents. The statement said that the district believed, by working together, they could find a solution.