Diego Stolz died after two students allegedly beat him at Landmark Middle School. The vicious incident was captured on cell phone video. Those students are facing one count of voluntary manslaughter each.
Stolz's parents claim the school district has a long history of student altercations on its campus and failed to take bullying complaints made by the family seriously as well failed to enforce anti-bullying policies to protect its students.
The family with their attorney announced a $100 million wrongful death claim against the Moreno Valley Unified School District.
The family claims during Diego's seventh grade school year in 2018-2019, boys at the school repeatedly verbally and physically bullied him, and Diego's guardians made several complaints to the school's administrators.
Four day prior to his death, the claim alleges Diego was punched in the chest by three boys at Landmark Middle School. A teacher and Diego both reported the incident.
"The assistant principal comes out and tells Jazmine, the adult sister, 'We are going to take care of this,'" Dave Ring, the family's attorney, said. "We are going to change the classes of these bullies and we are going to suspend them."
But the claim says when Diego returned to school the boys had not been suspended. That same day cellphone video captured the assault that led to Diego hitting his head on a column.
"He never regained consciousness and nine days later he was taken off life support," Ring said. "It could have been prevented if this school took bulling seriously."
In response, the school district says while their hearts go out to the family, "the two boys who attacked and killed Diego are responsible for his death," and that bullying is a nationwide problem.
Both 13-year-old boys have been arrested and charged with voluntary manslaughter.
During the press conference, Diego's aunt, who raised him after his own parents died, broke down in tears.
"He was the most amazing, humble, loving, funny person," his sister Jazmine Salcedo said. "He was also the most affectionate out of all us here."
The claim also seeks to have the district enact and enforce anti-bullying policies.
The claim was filed on behalf of guardians Juana Salcedo and Felipe Salcedo.
"It is appalling that the school, which is supposed to protect its students, failed to address aggressive bullying that was occurring on its school grounds, even after multiple complaints were made," an attorney for the family said. "This gross incompetence by the school and its administrators led to the death of a young boy, who was subjected to horrific abuse while the administrators looked the other way. The family is devastated by the loss of Diego."