Terrell students want answers after classmate's death

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by SHON GABLES

Bio | Email | Follow: @shongables

WFAA

Posted on December 2, 2012 at 9:08 PM

Updated Monday, Nov 25 at 3:35 PM

TERRELL — Questions surrounding the death of Terrell middle school student Zusette Moreno led to a confrontation between students and school leaders on Sunday.

Zusette passed away on Friday, three days after the 13-year-old was rushed to a hospital.

Her family believes an incident of bullying on the campus of Furlough Middle School last Tuesday led to her death. Terrell ISD officials said a preliminary autopsy report showed no signs of trauma or assault.

"You want answers? Exactly. That's what we're looking for — answers," said Lipita Primero, Zusette's aunt.

Terrell ISD Superintendent Kelly Rodgers empathizes with the child's family, but said an assault was never reported last week to police or to the district. He said there is no evidence of a fight.

"That campus has several programs — Stand By Me, The Great Program — several programs that teach those kids, and those kids come to campus, they know how to report," Rodgers said.

But on Sunday morning, as school administrators attempted to deliver flowers to Zusette's grieving family, friends, family and classmates made a human chain around their vehicles, blocking their ability to leave.

Police were called to clear the scene.

School board president Dena Risinger emphasized that the school is investigating what happened to Zusette.

"We want good schools, and we love our children in Terrell," she said. "I'm here to represent the public, and I want to take care of these dear children."

Zusette's mother, Blanca Primero, filed a police complaint on Saturday. She said there had been a previous incident last month involving her daughter and several classmates. All she wants now are answers.

"I don't need flowers," she said through a translator. "What I want for them is to take action and look into this."

The unanswered questions will be on the minds of students when they return to honor Zusette at a makeshift memorial in front of Furlough Middle School on Monday afternoon at two o'clock.

Terrell ISD told News 8 it will continue to provide grief counseling for students on Monday morning. District police officers will also be made available to assist students and staff at Zusette's school.

E-mail sgables@wfaa.com

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