Assistant principal dies by suicide at middle school in Placentia

Kraemer Middle School in Placentia.
(Jason Armond/Los Angeles Times)
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An assistant principal at Kraemer Middle School in Placentia died by suicide on campus Monday morning, officials said.

In an announcement posted to the school’s website, Principal Michael Young said Moises Plascencia took his life in a private staff area. No students or staff members were present, he said.

School operations were suspended for the remainder of the day, and students were sent home.


“Words will never be able to express our true sorrow regarding this loss,” Young said. “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 regular school schedule will resume Tuesday, Young said, adding that the Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District will make mental health professionals available on campus for students, staff and families.

Suicide prevention and crisis counseling resources

If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts, seek help from a professional and call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Text “HOME” to 741741 in the U.S. and Canada to reach the Crisis Text Line.

In a statement, Supt. Jim Elsasser described Plascencia as 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; however, we ask that you please respect his family’s privacy during this incredibly difficult time,” Elsasser said.

District spokeswoman Alyssa Griffiths said no additional details were immediately available.


“We just appreciate the understanding that we’re trying to support the community right now,” she said.

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected nearly everyone’s mental health. If you’re looking for help, here’s a list of resources

July 15, 2021