After being bullied repeatedly at school, 13-year-old Diego Stolz, could no longer bear the torment. So he decided to do the right thing and reported the matter to his middle school officials with the hope that it would put an end to his suffering.
Sadly, just two weeks later, Diego Stolz died after being punched and abused by two bullies at Moreno Valley Unified School District, California.
People.com reports that Stolz had no parents and was being raised by his aunt and uncle, Juana and Felipe Salcedo. The couple say Stolz had been relieved he had told his teacher and together they had filed a complaint about the bullying just days before his death.
Speaking at a at a news conference, Stolz’s cousin, Jazmin, said, “He was so relieved that he had talked to someone. We were on our drive back home, and I turned around and I told him, ‘I’m always going to defend you. You know that, right?’ And he nodded his head, ‘I know.’”
Cellphone footage of the unprovoked attack shows Stolz being attacked and hitting his head on a pillar. 9 days after the incident, he was pronounced clinically dead and taken off life support.
“That’s what’s unbelievably devastating to this family, that this could have been prevented. It could have been prevented if this school took bullying seriously.” Family attorney, Dave Ring, said.
However, Moreno Valley school district spokeswoman, Anahi Velasco, denied the school had any share of the blame. “The two boys who attacked and killed Diego are responsible for this death. Bullying in schools is a national issue. This issue constitutes a shared responsibility amongst parents, students, school district personnel, community leaders and law enforcement.
The family of 13yo Diego Stolz – who died after being punched in a viral video ‘bullying’ attack has filed a claim against Moreno Valley School District. Lawyers say the school knew days before about the attack and did nothing. MVUSD says it disagrees with the claims. @KFIAM640 pic.twitter.com/RztrZOa2bs
— Corbin Carson (@CorbinCarson) October 29, 2019
“Together, we need to send a resounding message these behaviors will not be tolerated in our schools. Keeping kids safe in schools is a high priority at MVUSD.” She told KTLA in an email.
Two 13-year-old boys who were involved in the horrific attack have been charged with voluntary manslaughter and assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury.
It’s so heartbreaking that bullying is still such a present evil in society, let alone among such young children. We all have to take a stand against bullying and abolish bullying in all forms wherever it rears its head.
Please share this article to pay tribute to Diego Stolz, a young boy who had to endure what no child should have to and had his young life taken way too early.
Rest in peace Diego.