The Moreno Valley Unified School District Board of Education voted to fire its superintendent on Tuesday.
The board voted 3-2 to remove Dr. Martinrex Kedziora after a three-hour meeting behind closed doors.
The firing comes after the district agreed to pay a $27 million settlement on Sept. 13 to the family of Diego Stolz, a 13-year-old boy who died after he was assaulted by classmates in 2019.
Kedziora had served as the superintendent of the district since 2017. Officials did not confirm whether the settlement prompted his firing.
Stolz was an eighth-grader at Landmark Middle School when he died.
A graphic video of the attack showed the moment two teenage boys attacked Stolz on school grounds.
In the video, Stolz is seen with his arms at his side as another student moves directly into his face before smacking him. After the impact, Stolz takes a step back before a second student punches him in the back of the head.
Stolz goes down immediately, hitting his head against a pillar. He suffered a traumatic brain injury and died nine days later.
His family sued the school district, alleging the school was aware of the ongoing harassment he was facing regularly but did nothing to prevent it.
Despite telling Stolz’s family the issue would be taken care of, the boys responsible for his death had not been suspended from school, allowing the chance for a fatal assault, his family said.
Some community members agreed with Kedziora’s firing, while others believed the board was only looking for someone to blame.
On Wednesday, organizers were gathering signatures to remove the board members who voted to fire Kedziora, saying he is being wrongfully blamed.
“He’s one of the most amazing people I have ever met,” said Kristina Horta, a parent who opposes Kedziora’s firing. “He’s a champion for public education, a champion for parent involvement.”
Other parents, however, have a different take.
“Finally he got fired,” said Yerenia Barrera, a parent. “I’m actually happy he got fired.”
Barrera said she has a special needs child who has been bullied at school. Despite reaching out to Kedziora, she said she never received a response and nothing was ever done to address the problems.
“He’s leaving everything to the teachers to do all the work and all the cleanup and all he does is just go to shows or presentations,” she said. “He puts a smile on his face but never resolves the issues.”
An interim superintendent has been appointed in Kedziora’s place as the search for a new superintendent begins.