Despite being condemned by the masses, and indeed despised by anyone with half a brain, it’s a sad truth that bullying still exists in virtually all walks of life.
Whether it be kids at school or colleagues in the work place, there are those who, knowingly or not, think it acceptable to belittle and torment others for their own entertainment or gain.
Let’s get one thing straight right from the start: bullying is detestable. Worse, it’s a far more dangerous practise than many people realize.
Though it breaks my heart to do so, I feel I need to tell the story of 13-year-old Diego Stolz, who was being bullied at school and so decided to do the right thing. He told his middle school officials about what was going on, thinking it would put an end to his woes.
Just two weeks later, Stolz died after being punched and abused by two bullies at Moreno Valley Unified School District, California.
According to reports, Stolz had no parents and was being raised by his aunt and uncle, Juana and Felipe Salcedo. They say Stolz and his teacher had lodged a complaint about the bullying less than a week before his death. As per People, Stolz was relieved to have told someone.
“He was so relieved that he had talked to someone,” Stolz’s cousin Jazmin said at a news conference.
“We were on our drive back home, and I turned around and I told him, ‘I’m always going to defend you. You know that, right?’ And he nodded his head, ‘I know.’”
It was a mere two weeks later than Stolz lost his life in a callous and unprovoked attack.
Cellphone footage of the incident sees Diego being attacked and hitting his head on a pillar. Nine days after that he was pronounced clinically dead and taken off life support.
Family attorney, Dave Ring, said: “That’s what’s unbelievably devastating to this family, that this could have been prevented. It could have been prevented if this school took bullying seriously.”
Moreno Valley school district spokeswoman Anahi Velasco, meanwhile, denied the school had any share of the blame. She told KTLA in an email: “The two boys who attacked and killed Diego are responsible for this death.
“Bullying in schools is a national issue. This issue constitutes a shared responsibility amongst parents, students, school district personnel, community leaders and law enforcement.
“Together, we need to send a resounding message these behaviors will not be tolerated in our schools. Keeping kids safe in schools is a high priority at MVUSD.”
Two 13-year-old boys have been charged with voluntary manslaughter and assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury.
We’ll say it one more time, loudly for the people in the back: bullying has absolutely no place in society.
We as a united front should challenge it wherever it rears its head and continue to work on measures to nullify its presence.
Please share this article to pay tribute to Diego Stolz, a young boy who had to endure what no young boy should have to, a young boy taken from the world far too early.
Rest in peace, Diego.