A Southern California school district agreed to pay $27 million to the family of a 13-year-old boy who was fatally attacked by his classmates during school lunch, in what the family’s attorneys say is the largest school bullying case in American history. Telling a compromise.
The wrongful death suit, filed in 2020, was resolved Wednesday.
Following Diego Stolz’s death in September 2019, his parents sued the Moreno Valley Unified School District, claiming that school officials ignored complaints that he was being bullied at Landmark Middle School.
According to the lawsuit, Stolz was repeatedly sucked in the head by two other teenagers. The violent incident was captured on cellphone video by another student.
in the video, issued by lawyers, Stolz can be seen standing with his hands to his side as the boys begin to pounce on him. The family’s lawyers said this was a “clear indication that he did not want to fight, and would not escalate the situation.”
After the fight Stolz was taken to hospital and placed on life support. He suffered severe brain injury and died nine days later.
The two boys involved in the attack, who were 14 at the time, have pleaded guilty to charges of culpable homicide. nbc news, He reportedly spent 47 days in juvenile detention and was ordered to undergo anger management therapy.
The lawsuit alleges that this fatal encounter was not the first time that Stolz was physically or verbally attacked at school, despite the family’s complaints to school administrators.
Juana and Felipe Salcedos, Stolz’s aunt and uncle, who raised him after his parents died, said he was bullied from the seventh grade until the beginning of the eighth grade.
On September 12, 2019, the family said he had gone to his science teacher for help after he was sucker-punched in the head, as per their News release from family lawyers, The teacher informed the assistant principal that day and she claimed she would review the security footage to find the culprits, but she did not.
The next day, the Salcedos’ adult daughter accompanied Stolz to the school to meet the assistant principal. The administrator reportedly said she knew who the bullies were and promised to change their schedules so they could no longer have classes with Stolz.
The following Monday, Stolz returned to school and the bullies were not suspended nor had their schedules changed, The news release said, This was the same day that Stolz was severely beaten.
The family alleges in the lawsuit that the school district has “a long history of fights between students on its campuses” and an equally long history of doing nothing about it.
His attorney said, “The family will always be saddened by Diego’s death but they hope this case will bring change to school districts across the country.”