His name is Diego and he has become a rallying cry for a Southern California campus and community angered by school violence.
The 13-year-old Moreno Valley boy remains in critical but stable condition, officials told television station KTLA days after a Monday afternoon assault by two students caught on video on the campus of the city’s Landmark Middle School.
Authorities continue to investigate the attack and allegations that the young victim had been a target of bullying before Monday’s assault outside the school’s main entrance, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Meantime, angry parents protested with students Friday in what was branded a “Ditch Day for Diego,” KTLA television reported.
“If we don’t make a change, who will?” the demonstrators shouted Friday.
Parents on Wednesday confronted school officials at a meeting called to discuss the violence. Officials at the meeting dubbed a “parent information night” discussed “our efforts to prevent and deal with bullying behaviors,” district spokeswoman Anahi Velasco said Friday via email. Velasco said officials will meet again with Landmark parents.
“We will continue working with parents, staff, students and law enforcement to ensure student safety,” Velasco said.
Two Landmark students, age 13, were arrested Monday night by Riverside County Sheriff’s deputies on allegations of assault with intent to inflict great bodily injury in the midday attack and are now in juvenile custody. Authorities learned this week that Diego’s alleged assailants each are honors students at Landmark, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reported Friday.
Video of the attack posted to Facebook and viewed by The Bee shows one of the students punching the boy in the face outside the school’s main entrance. Another student delivers a second blow as Diego stumbles backward and crashes head-first into a concrete pillar.
The first student then punches the boy a third time as he lay crumpled beside the pillar before walking away.
Calls by The Bee to Riverside County Sheriff’s officials went unanswered Friday, but sheriff’s officials told the Los Angeles Times that detectives were working alongside Landmark officials.