Santa Rosa students stage walkout demanding safer school conditions following fatal stabbing

ByAnser Hassan KGO logo
Saturday, March 4, 2023
NB students stage walkout demanding safer school after fatal stabbing
Students at Maria Carrillo High School in Santa Rosa held a walkout Friday following at fatal stabbing at Montgomery High School.

SANTA ROSA, Calif. (KGO) -- Students at Maria Carrillo High School in Santa Rosa held a walkout Friday afternoon with demands that more be done to keep students safe and informed.

"As a former student of Montgomery High School for two years, I am shocked by the stabbing, but I am not surprised by the mishandling of the administration!" Maria Carrillo senior, Rami Nacouzi, told the crowd of students. "Jayden could have been alive today if it weren't for the systematic mismanagement of our school system!"

Santa Rosa police say, on Wednesday, 16-year-old Jayden Pienta was fatally stabbed during a fight with a 15-year-old freshman in a classroom at nearby Montgomery High.

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A third student, who the family only wants identified as "Cruz," was also stabbed in the hand.

Also on Wednesday, Santa Rosa police say a student was caught bringing a gun to Maria Carrillo High. Now, students across the district are joining together.

"We are all saying the same thing! We are all wanting the same thing! And that is change!" says Nacouzi, one of the student speakers.

With signs of "I Don't Feel Safe" and "Am I next?," hundreds of students rallied for more safety on campus and for more information as events unfold.

"We feel disrespected. The school doesn't have the decency to give us the same information, the same respect they give our parents. It's because they fear our parents opinions and fear public opinion," said Rosemary Cromwell, also a senior at Mario Carrillo High.

MORE: 17-year-old student dies after stabbing at Santa Cruz County high school, sheriff says

After a moment of silence for Jayden, the students marched several blocks through town.

Many students say they have suffered a lot over the past few years; wildfire evacuations, the COVID-19 pandemic, and violence on campus.

"My best friend is dead! And I will speak constantly and everyday if I get my best friend the justice he deserves. He deserves to be here. He was only 16!" says Olivia Cruz, a dear friend of Jayden.

After the walkout, back at Montgomery High, Olivia joined other students, who continue to mourn Jayden's death.

RELATED: Stabbing victims' families say administration 'failed' students in campus safety

The victims' families say administration 'failed' students leading up to deadly Montgomery High School stabbing in Santa Rosa.

Family and friends have been critical of the school's handling of on-going problems between Jayden and the other student. They argue, had more been done, Jayden would likely still be alive. And that's the change students are demanding.

"Administration and staff members need to care. They don't care! And that is why my best friend got stabbed in a classroom. A place we are supposed to feel safe," says Olivia.

The school district did not respond to request for comment.

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