Mother of injured teen whose friend was fatally stabbed at school speaks out
SANTA ROSA, Calif. - The mother of a 16-year-old boy who survived a stabbing at a Santa Rosa high school but whose friend was killed said Thursday that the school failed to address earlier fights involving a 15-year-old boy accused in the attack.
"My son is done with this school. I am done with this school. I am done with this school. This office, they know me," said Maria Cervantes.
Cervantes' son was stabbed in the hand, and his friend, 16-year-old Jayden Pienta died after being stabbed in the chest Wednesday at Montgomery High School in Santa Rosa. A 15-year-old boy is under arrest.
Cervantes says the school did little after being told of many previous fights among the three.
"It just got to a point where I just knew they weren’t going to be doing anything, and then this happened," she said.
Police say Cervantes’ son and Jayden went into an art class in which they're not enrolled and confronted a 15-year-old boy.
Cell phone video shows part of that fight.
A teacher broke it up, but police say the 15-year-old then took out a pocket knife and stabbed both of the 16-year-old boys.
Cervantes said her son and Jayden were not the aggressors.
"This isn’t a case about two bullies, you know, this individual had issues with multiple students," she said, referring to the 15-year-old boy.
She says the 15-year-old was the only one with a weapon.
"It was not self-defense at all. You know, the fight was broken up initially and then you go and start fighting him again and you brandish a weapon at that point?" Cervantes asked.
Kyle Boyd is a parent at the high school – and also a retired Santa Rosa police officer who served as a school resource officer at a different high school. Those officers were removed by the school board in 2020.
"I think just the actual presence on campus is an actual deterrent," he said.
Boyd says it’s not clear if any officers could have stopped the attack. But he says by being embedded on campus, those officers could have potentially stopped disputes from escalating.
"The perception that they’re there, that they frighten students or whatever, I think is completely untrue," Boyd said.
Classes have been canceled for the rest of the week to allow the campus community to mourn.
"I think there should be officers on campus and more resources for students in need of this help," said student Kate Kearny. "I think that students are lost and that they don’t have a pathway."