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Student death in California highlights bullying issue

Here is the story link, video, and an excerpt.

A 13-year-old California boy has died more than a week after being punched in an attack by two boys that was caught on video.

The middle school teen — who has been identified only by his first name, Diego — was pronounced clinically dead on Tuesday night, the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department said in a statement. Diego had been hospitalized since the Sept. 16 attack at Landmark Middle School in Moreno Valley, Calif., roughly 65 miles east of Los Angeles. The sheriff’s department said Diego’s family will donate the boy’s organs “to transform this tragedy into the gift of life for other children.”

Families in the 33,000-student Moreno Valley Unified School District reacted with grief and outrage after the attack. Parents and students gathered last Friday in a “Ditch for Diego” protest that went from a nearby community park to the district’s registration office. Diego’s death Tuesday night prompted more memorials, vigils — and heated confrontations with district officials whom some parents and students accused of mishandling what they call a pervasive bullying problem.

By Hank Nuwer

Journalist Hank Nuwer is the Alaska author of Hazing: Destroying Young Lives; Broken Pledges: The Deadly Rite of Hazing, High School Hazing, Wrongs of Passage and The Hazing Reader. He has written articles or columns on hazing for the Sunday Times of India, Toronto Globe & Mail, Harper's Magazine, Orlando Sentinel, The Chronicle of Higher Education and the New York Times Sunday Magazine. His current book is Hazing: Destroying Young Lives from Indiana University Press. He is married to Malgorzata Wroblewska Nuwer of Warsaw, Poland and Fairbanks, Alaska. Nuwer is a former columnist for the Greenville (Ohio)Early Bird and former managing editor of the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner in Alaska.
Nuwer was named the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists columnist of the year in 2021 for his “After Darke” column in the Early Bird. He also won third place for the column in 2022 from the Indiana chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. He and his wife Gosia, recently of Union City, Ind., have owned 20 acres in Alaska for many years. “The move is a sort-of coming home for us,” said Nuwer. As a journalist, he’s written about the Alaskan Iditarod sled-dog race and other Alaska topics. Read his musings in his blog at Real Alaska Daily--http://realalaskadaily.com and in his weekly column "Far from Randolph" in the Winchester Star-Gazette of Randolph County, Indiana.

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