A videotaped classroom fight at Moreno Valley’s Sunnymead Middle School and how to battle bullying took center stage at the Tuesday night, Oct. 8, school board meeting.
Teacher Salma Shehto and campus security officer Kevin Irish, who were seen in the video, were thanked by Moreno Valley Unified School District board members and Superintendent Martinrex Kedziora. Also mentioned at the session was the first meeting on Tuesday of Sunnymead’s new anti-bullying club and plans to crack down on bullying — including on those who videotape fights.
Kedziora, echoing comments he made last week at a community meeting to seek solutions to bullying and campus violence, said the fight — and the September assault of a 13-year-old Landmark Middle School student who later died — aren’t representative of the district and its schools.
“Our school district has been in the news recently, for all the wrong reasons,” Kedziora said. “… We are much better than this. Bullying, harassment and violence are problems in districts across the country.”
He promised that administrators are taking the issues “very seriously” and crafting a plan.
“Bullying has no place in our schools. … There will be consequences for bullying or violence,” including for people who film it, he said.
Specific ideas Kedziora cited included creating a safety video, a community advisory committee, having “bullying-prevention conversations,” campus-specific anti-bullying plans and a Million Fathers March.
Tuesday’s was the first school board meeting since the death of Diego Stolz, 13, and since two Sunnymead girls attacked a schoolmate in an incident caught on a viral video.
That fight came weeks after the Sept. 16 assault of Stolz, who was talking with a fellow Landmark student when another boy suddenly punched him, sending the boy’s head back against a column. Stolz fell to the ground, but the other boy and a third boy, continued attacking him.
Stolz died in the hospital a week later. The two other boys, both 13, were arrested and charged with voluntary manslaughter and assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury.
In the Sunnymead fight video, Shehto struggles to intervene and a student yells to shut the classroom door, apparently to keep campus security or other adults from intervening. Both girls were arrested on suspicion of attacking a teacher and a student. The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department is looking for a third suspect.
Moreno Valley Unified officials have not confirmed that Stolz was bullied, as has been widely rumored in the community and by parents at public gatherings and meetings since the assault. The investigation into his death is continuing.
Also at Tuesday’s meeting, student leaders reported on anti-bullying initiatives at each high school in the district.
Published at Tue, 08 Oct 2019 20:08:00 +0000