The families of both victims of a deadly stabbing at a Santa Rosa high school are blaming the campus for what happened.
A fight and stabbing that broke out Wednesday inside a classroom at Montgomery High School left 16-year-old Jayden Pienta dead and another student injured.
“It’s tragic,” Jayden’s aunt Renee Helm said. “There are no words to explain how horrible it is. No words.”
Police said Pienta and his friend got into an altercation with a freshman who pulled out a knife. Pienta was stabbed in the chest and back, while his friend was stabbed in the hand.
“Right now, we are trying to recreate exactly what happened in the classroom leading up to the stabbing or during the stabbing,” Santa Rosa police Sgt. Christopher Mahurin said.
Maria Cervantes’ son, Cruz, was the other boy wounded. The mother said she complained to the school weeks ago to report the same boy suspected in the attack tried jumping her son.
“I want to make it very clear. The school and the school district failed my son, and they failed Jayden and failed the rest of the students who attend the school,” Cervantes said.
Cervantes said Cruz and Jayden have been best friends since kindergarten.
“Physically he’s OK. Emotionally, he’s distraught. He just lost his brother,” Cervantes said about her son. “He just lost his best friend and he’s 16. And this is something is going to forever taint his life.”
Jayden’s family said the freshman suspected in the stabbing slashed his tires last week. The family also thinks the school failed to quell the situation.
“The school needs to protect them when they’re on school grounds and if that means bringing school resource officers in again, then I’m all for it,” said Tiffiany Tyrell, a family friend.
Helm adds “Murder is not something you think is going to happen. You’re not going to think your child is going to go to school and get stabbed in the back and die.”
Montgomery High School has been closed since the deadly stabbing occurred. It plans to reopen on Monday.
The school district did not reply Thursday to requests for comment on this story.
The Sonoma County Superintendent of Schools, Amie Carter, issued the following statement on Wednesday:
“Wednesday was the day that every parent, every child, every teacher, and every school administrator dreads. A young man went to Montgomery High School and never came home, because of a senseless, shocking act of violence that played out in full view of students.
As a community, our hearts are broken. The agony of this unexpected loss defies the imagination. I send my deepest condolences to the family, friends, and classmates of the teen who was killed.
This is a time to hug our children and bring them in close, while giving them a space in which to grieve. My office is working with our partners at Santa Rosa City Schools to provide behavioral health and other support to the students, families, and school staff affected by this horrific killing. We will do everything we can to help them in the days, weeks, and months to come.
No child should return home from school with one fewer classmate, or one fewer friend, and it is our job as a community to make sure we are leaning in and supporting our young people.
We also will be engaging in dialogue with Santa Rosa City Schools, law enforcement, and our other school districts to ensure we are doing everything we can to improve student safety, but our focus today is on those most directly impacted by these terrible events.“
Source: NBC Bay Area
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