This crisis may be a turning point, a way for them to find their voice.
"The immigrant community does not have a history of standing up for their rights," Escutia said. "But the tipping point, like in any other community, is when you mess with their kids. You don't want to have to deal with [an angry] Mexican mom."
Those moms were out in force this week. They packed the auditorium Monday night, some reading from a list of "demands" — to visit the classroom, have a teacher conference, volunteer on campus — that parents like me recognize as fundamental rights.
They cheered Deasy's plan to remake the school, but booed when he cut speakers short. This was their time, on their turf. The meeting was conducted largely in Spanish, with headsets to translate into English for outsiders like me.
And they left with a message I hope they'll carry through the process of remaking Miramonte: This fight is not just about their rights, but their responsibility as parents.
"This is not like a soap opera. This is real life," district parent liaison Maria Casillas told them. "Tell your children to trust whatever they think. A child knows when something is not right.... You have to listen and let them speak."
The march back to Miramonte that night was part protest, part vigil, part pep rally. Cars driving by honked at the moms toting signs. Drivers rolled down their windows and pumped their fists, energized by the sight of a community come alive.
And little children carried candles whose flames kept flickering out in the night. It seemed a fitting memorial to what they'd lost: an innocence that no investigation can restore.