Mom Responds to International Attention, Fall-out Over Bullying Incident

Mom Responds to International Attention, Fall-out Over Bullying Incident

Max Rodriguez

KMIR News first reported on the story of 10-year-old Aiden Vazquez, a fifth-grader at Two Bunch Palms Elementary in Desert Hot Springs, who received six stitched on his face after he was hit by another student.

On Thursday Vasquez went back to the same school where the incident took place, his mother Lizette Casanova said she has seen a change from the school.

Casanova said, “They’re working with that and working with me and I think that’s awesome so far you know obviously he’s back in school today so there was something that was being done for me to feel safe with him going back.”

Vasquez got the attention of the nation for not fighting back after he was punched, when he was asked why he did not fight back, he said, “I got it from Star Wars that it’s not the Jedi way.”

It was that sentence that got the attention of Luke Skywalker himself, Mark Hamill and a whole host of other people who admired his pacifist ways.

“He got a very nice phone call from J.J. Abrams, from the actress who plays Hera in the Star Wars Rebels, Elya Salkind, he’s the director of Superman,” Casanova said. “We’ve been reached out from Hasbro toys  … I didn’t expect it I didn’t try to to get all that attention, Aiden is Aiden and I can’t tell him what to say.”

But for Casanova not all of the attention was positive, she said people from all over the world were supportive and caring, but there was also a darker side to the attention. She said social media bullies said awful things about her son and about herself.

KMIR News has received several anonymous emails and heard accusations from one local mother who said the entire story has not been told.

Chandra Garin is a mother of a student at Two Bunch Palms Elementary School and she also volunteers as a supervisor of the students during recess.

“There’s two stories, not just one … he’s the one that bullied my son,” Garin said. “The one that got punched in the eye right? And then supposedly the Jedi way, that’s funny because if he was really the Jedi way if  he was really a Star Wars fan he would not be bullying kids like in third grade.”

Garin contradicts the message of peace by Vasquez and she accuses the 10-year-old boy of taunting her son.

There is no corroboration to these accusations yet, neither the school, the district or the police will comment on the record on the new claims.

Casanova will continue to defend her son without question.

She said, “My son is not perfect but he is not a bully, I have not had a single instance where the school has called me telling me that my son is a bully or they’ve had any violent issues whatsoever with him.”

Through it all, Casanova said her son has remained steadfastly in the Jedi way.

She said, “It makes him feel good, it makes him feel like the guardian of peace.”