13-year-old girl dies mysteriously in Terrell amidst school bullying claims
TERRELL – A 13-year-old student at Furlough Middle School passed away mysteriously Nov. 30 on her birthday, three days after she was rushed to a hospital, amidst claims that her death was the result of bullying at the school.
The family of the seventh grader, Zusette Moreno, say that they believe an incident of bullying at the school last Tuesday led to her death, and the school hasn’t done enough to address bullying.
They claim Moreno was attacked in the school bathroom by two girls who banged her head against the wall. Later that night Zusette complained of headaches and went into shock. She was rushed to the hospital where she went into a coma and died Friday.
Zusette’s mother, Blanca Primero, filed a police complaint on Saturday. She told several TV News stations there was an incident last month involving her daughter and several classmates that she believes may have led to her daughter’s death. She said what she wants now are answers.
The family has obtained a lawyer.
Terrell ISD officials said a preliminary autopsy report showed no signs of trauma or assault. TISD Superintendent Kelly Rodgers said an assault was never reported last week to police or to the district. He said there is no evidence of a fight. School board president Dena Risinger emphasized that the school is investigating what happened to Zusette.
On Saturday the City of Terrell and the Terrell ISD issued a joint press release that said, in part,
“There have been no reports to Terrell Police or Terrell ISD Police of an assault of this nature involving a student at the ISD. Additionally, neither law enforcement agency has received any reports of an assault against a child by either emergency responders, doctors or emergency room personnel of an assault against a child, as they are required by law. The Terrell ISD Police routinely investigates rumors of bullying and assault. Consequently, rumors surrounding this event have been investigated as well and will continue to be investigated.”
Viewing services for Moreno are set for Tuesday, Dec. 4, from Noon to 4 pm, at Evergreen Funeral Home in Terrell. Her funeral will be in Mexico.
By J.J. Smith