The San Moreno Valley Unified School District will be forced to pay a $27 million settlement after a 13-year-old boy was killed following repeated punches at school. 13-year-old Diego Stolz lost his life after being punched to death in 2019 at his middle school.
Diego’s attorneys offered a summary of the decision on their Facebook page in a post on Wednesday. It started, saying, “This is a photo of Diego. He was killed by bullies at his middle school in September 2019. The school knew Diego was being targeted and did nothing to put an end to the bullying. Today, after four years of litigation, Taylor & Ring is announcing a $27 million settlement with the school district — the largest settlement ever in a school bullying case in the United States.”
This financial win pales in comparison to the trauma that the Stolz family felt in September 2019 when they lost their son to bullying. However, such a large sum places a massive spotlight on the vicious bullying that plagues America’s schools.
While some administrators may not care to stop the bullying out of the goodness of their hearts, such a hefty settlement is sure to set about a movement in American schools to stop bullying so that school districts nationwide never have to pay such a hefty fine.
Detailing the gruesome account, Taylor and Ring wrote, “Diego was, by all accounts, the sweetest nicest kid you could ever meet. When the bullies confronted him yet again (for no good reason), Diego put his hands to his side because he was told to never fight at school. The two bullies sucker-punched him and killed him.”
The attorneys went on to explain that though the bullies caused such a horrendous impact on the life of the Stolz family, they were not disciplined despite a promise from the school to punish the children for what they did to Diego.
The week prior to the incident, the school had promised the Stolz family that the bullies, who were consistently picking on their son, would suspended and disciplined. According to Taylor and Ring, that unfulfilled promise took place only one week before they took Diego’s life.
Stolz’s attorneys hope that this case sets about changes in our country’s education system. They wrote, “We hope this case is a wake up call to all schools in the U.S – take your anti-bullying policies seriously and when a student complains, take action. You have a duty to protect kids at school.”
While this case contains nothing but sadness for a family that lost their son, it also may be a turning point in America’s battle against bullying that we look back on in a couple of decades and thank for helping our next generation feel safe at school.
The money will never allow the Stolz family to recover what they lost, but it will serve as a reminder to schools nationwide to protect their students from bullying at all costs.
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