Sorrow turned to anger Wednesday night at the vigil for 13-year-old California boy who died after sustaining injuries from an alleged attack at his middle school.
Moreno Valley Unified Superintendent Dr. Martinrex Kedziora arrived at the vigil for the boy — who has only been identified as Diego — at Landmark Middle School, prompting an angry response from some attendees, KCAL reported.
Following the Sept. 16 attack where his head was knocked into a pillar, Diego was pronounced dead Tuesday. His family plans to donate his organs, to “transform” the “tragedy into the gift of life for other children,” the Riverside sheriff announced Wednesday.
Hundreds of attendees gathered at the school to mourned the loss of the Diego. Many were angered when the superintendent appeared, accompanied by a sheriff, saying the district did little to combat bullying at the school.
Some of Diego’s classmates said he was bullied.
“What did the school district do? Nothing,” one woman said at the vigil, as reported by KCAL. “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?”
Kedziora spoke to the attendees, and said the school wanted to work with the community. Some mourners questioned his words and others called for him to resign.
"We are the community, and you’re not working with us,” a woman said, as reported by KCAL. “We are the community.”
Many students wore shirts with Diego’s name on the front, and chanted his name.
“Everybody’s changing the subject about bullying, but we’re here for Diego,” 14-year-old student Arianna Franquezvilla said while sobbing, as reported by WNBC. “Diego lost his life today. Diego’s not here no more.”
A meeting will be held at the middle school on Thursday night to help “develop solutions through community collaboration,” in response to the event, Kedziora said in a statement.
Two suspects that were arrested in relation to the attack are held in the Riverside County Juvenile Jail, and are facing prosecution for the assault, the sheriff said.