Assistant Principal Moises Plascencia was found dead at Kraemer Middle School in Placentia, Calif. He reportedly died of apparent suicide before students and teachers arrived for the day. Police are investigating what happened.
WARNING: This article contains information that may be disturbing to some readers.
According to reports, Plascencia’s body was found in a bathroom at the school. He was unresponsive in a stall with a firearm close by. Police were called to the California middle school around 9 a.m. after reports of a body. Authorities said that no students or staff witnessed the suicide.
“The incident took place in a private staff area and fellow staff members and students were not present nor was the occurrence witnessed by anyone,” Principal Michael Young said.
The Coroner Division of Orange County is investigating the suicide. An exact cause of death is unknown.
Students were sent home early from school and all campus activities were canceled for the day. Classes are scheduled to resume on Tuesday.
A letter was sent out to all parents regarding the investigation. The letter, which was written by Principal Young, said, “It is with the heaviest of hearts that I write you this afternoon. I am incredibly sorry to announce that our Assistant Principal Moises Plascencia took his own life earlier this morning on campus. The incident took place in a private staff area and fellow staff members and students were not present nor was the occurrence witnessed by anyone. The Placentia Police Department (PPD) responded swiftly to our request for support.”
The principal added that “words will never be able to express our true sorrow regarding this loss. While we may never make sense of nor understand why this occurred, please know how deeply Mr. Plascencia cared for your students, their education, and all of Kraemer Middle School.”
The statement also said that counselors would be provided for all students and staff at the California middle school who were impacted by the assistant principal’s sudden death.
“Anyone impacted by this incident is encouraged to come to the multipurpose room for mental health support at any time throughout the remainder of the week,” Young wrote in his letter. “Our commitment to you is that we will stay in regular communication over the coming days to ensure you are informed about next steps.”
Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District Superintendent Jim Elsasser also sent a letter to community parents and opened up about the assistant principal and how he impacted the school. He considered Plascencia a member of the school’s extended family.
“Moises was so much more than a respected assistant principal,” Elsasser said. “He was a father, husband, brother and friend to so many in our school district community. His passing, and the manner in which it occurred, has left us devastated, confused and heartbroken.”
Following the tragic loss, many of Plascencia’s friends took to Facebook to share their memories about the late assistant principal. Renae Bryant said, “We held a moment of silence for our friend Moises Plascencia tonight during our She Leads Leadership Book Chat. When I think of Moises Plascencia, I think of one of the kindest, gentlest, calmest and generous leaders I can possibly think of. I never told him these things and now I am left with regret that I didn’t. Tell all the people all the good things about them.”
No other information has been released, and police continue to investigate the sudden death. Alyssa Griffiths, a spokesperson for the school district, said Monday that no additional details regarding the suicide have been disclosed. Plascencia’s family has not released a statement about their loved ones’ death.