Moreno Valley Unified Pays $27 Million To Settle Wrongful-Death Lawsuit
The Moreno Valley Unified School District has agreed to pay $27 million to settle a lawsuit by the family of 13-year-old Diego Stolz who died after being assaulted by two other students at Landmark Middle School in September 2019.
The settlement with the Southern California school district was announced Wednesday by lawyers for relatives of the eighth-grade boy. One of the students involved in the assault struck Stolz in the head from behind and he fell, hitting his head against a pillar.
The teens then continued punching Stolz, who eventually succumbed to his injuries nine days later. His death would have been preventable if there was an anti-bullying policy in place at the middle school, according to Dave Ring, an attorney for the Stolz family.
Diego Stolz Had Raised Alarm Over Bullying Before Attack: Lawsuit
The attack was recorded on video. Schools must realise any cases of bullying cannot be tolerated and any complaints concerning such attacks must be taken seriously, Ring said in a news release. The institution’s principal and vice principal were replaced.
Before the fatal attack, Stolz had raised concerns over bullying before the assistant principal, according to the family’s wrongful-death lawsuit. The assailants, who were 14 at the time, spent 47 days in juvenile custody. A judge declined to sentence them to more jail time.
But they were ordered to undergo anger management therapy. At the time, the teens entered the equivalent of guilty pleas in juvenile court to involuntary manslaughter and assault with force likely to cause great bodily harm.
What To Do If Your Child Is Being Bullied In Schools?
1. “Leave me alone”, “Back off”, “Stop” – Create a list of phrases your child can use to tell someone to stop bullying.
2. You can role-play the bully while your little one practices the different phrases until they feel confident handling tough situations.
3. Keep an open line of communication by checking in with your child daily about how things are going at school. Don’t let your kid become reluctant to tell you if something’s wrong.
4. Encourage hobbies that bring out the best in your child. The better the tiny souls feel about themselves, the less likely the bullying behaviour will harm their self-esteem.
5. When your child tells you how they stood up to a bully that day, praise progress to let them know that you are proud of them.