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UPDATE: Diego Clinically Dead After Fight At Landmark Middle School In Moreno Valley

Sep 26, 2019

Diego Moreno Valley: Diego Clinically Dead After Fight At Landmark Middle School In Moreno Valley

MORENO VALLEY, CALIFORNIA (September 26, 2019) –  A 13-year-old student at Landmark Middle School identified as Diego was seriously injured in a cowardly act of violence after being punched in the face and knocked unconscious. 

The fight broke out on the campus of Landmark Middle School located on Legendary Drive around 1:00 p.m. Two 13-year-old students were arrested after the fight and are facing prosecution. 

Diego has remained in critical condition at the  Riverside University Medical Center. Despite life-saving efforts Diego was tragically pronounced brain dead 12 days after the attack. 

Part of the attack was captured on video. Those familiar with the attack are saying that it came after bullying. Parents at Landmark Middle School have been outraged by the attack.  

“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?” said one woman. 

Some parents are blaming Moreno Valley Unified Superintendent Dr. Martinrex Kedziora for not taking enough action to curb bullying at the school. An investigation into the death of Diego at Landmark Middle School remains ongoing. 

Liability In Attacks At Public Schools

According to the National Bullying Prevention Center, “Rates of bullying vary across studies (from 9% to 98%). A meta-analysis of 80 studies analyzing bullying involvement rates (for both bullying others and being bullied) for 12-18 year old students reported a mean prevalence rate of 35% for traditional bullying involvement and 15% for cyberbullying involvement.” Bullying can come in a variety of different forms including:

  • Teasing
  • Name-calling
  • Inappropriate sexual comments
  • Taunting
  • Threatening to cause harm
  •  Hitting, kicking and pinching
  • Spitting
  •  Tripping and pushing
  • Taking or breaking someone’s things
  • Making mean or rude hand gestures

Bullying is extremely serious. It exposes students not only to physical harm but to serious psychological harm as well. Students who are bullied experience higher levels of anxiety, depression, sleep problems, self-harm and suicidal thoughts. Schools have a legal responsibility to take corrective action on bullying when they are aware of a problem. Individuals that should take corrective action may include:

  • The superintendent of a district
  • School principles
  • Assistant principles
  • Certain administrators 

There are a number of circumstances where a school may face legal responsibility if one student is harmed by another student through bullying. For example,  a school may be liable for such an incident if:

  • The school had knowledge of the bullying
  • The school acted with deliberate indifference to the bullying
  • The school’s deliberate indifference was the proximate cause of the student’s injuries

The family of any victim that died due to school bullying may be able to hold the school district responsible through California Code of Civil Procedure 377.60. Damages in a civil claim can help cover funeral expenses, medical expenses, lost wages, emotional distress and pain and suffering. Unfortunately, school districts will often fight hard to deny liability for any incidents involving bullying. A personal injury attorney can investigate all of the facts of your case free of cost and let you know what your legal options are.  

Investigating School Bullying In Moreno Valley

We at West Coast Trial Lawyers extend our deepest condolences to the family of Diego. There needs to be a thorough investigation into what took place at Landmark Middle School. Were school officials aware of the bullying that was taking place? What were they doing about it. This school district and its representatives need to be held to account for what has happened.

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