A white middle school student in Florida was charged after a disturbing viral video showed him brutally assaulting a black boy inside of a locker room.
The alarming video clip shows a white boy holding the black boy down and repeatedly punching him the face while other students watch on. No adults were seen in the video. The mother of the attacked child, Lauren Springfield called the school out in a Facebook post about the incident.
“Yesterday, my son was attacked. In a violent, malicious manner while in the school locker room at Blake Academy in Polk County,” she started. “The school nurse called us first and let us know our son was in the nurses office and could not give us any additional information. I immediately left my office and went to the school – not one school administrator contacted me on the way to the school. I got to the school to find a welt on my son’s forehead and back of head, a cut above his eye brow and bruising all around his eye.”
I’m triggered. This mother on FB shared a video of her son being attacked by kids in the boys locker room at R. W. Blake Academy in Lakeland, FL. She says the school administrators @PolkSchoolsNews aren’t giving her any info on how they plan to handle the other kids involved. pic.twitter.com/t6RhFyuSuy— attackLZRD! (@attackLZRD) September 12, 2019
Springfield revealed that it wasn’t until she parents of a high school student sent her the video did she learn that her son was brutally attacked.
“You hear the kids not only cursing but encouraging the attack and not stepping in to stop what was happening,” Springfield wrote.
She said she asked the school administration how they would respond to the video and according to her, their response was “We can’t tell you.”
Springfield went on to say,
“This could have ended much differently, our child has one kidney and after getting kneed several times this could have resulted in permanent damage.”
Springfield said tried to get a restraining order against the kids, but a judge argued that since the attack allegedly didn’t happen multiple times, Springfield would not be granted the legal protection for her son.
“It only takes one hit for a child to die,” wrote Springfield. “How many more times would you like this to happen to our child or any other child? Throughout the entire attack this little boy laughed and smiled – and you think he won’t do it again?”
Springfield also called the possible racism surrounding the incident.
“I can guarantee you had this been a group of black students on a lone white student we would be having a completely different conversation. I am disheartened, I am tired, scared for my son and completely enraged.”
A Polk County school board member, Billy Townsend, addressed Springfield’s demands for updated school policies in a Facebook response:
“1) We as a district vastly overinterpret privacy rules so that a victim’s family receives little or no information about how we are protecting/preventing any further harm for their child. So even when a serious investigation is underway, as I believe it is here, the victim’s family doesn’t really perceive it. 2) I do not understand why we would send the child’s family to get a court injunction, rather than provide more robust engagement at the school/district level. Both of these seem like policy issues that we need to address quickly as a School Board.”
As a result, charges were brought against one of the students and the police and the superintendent of Polk County Public Schools held a press conference last week where they said the students involved were disciplined “on the school side” while the child that was seen attacking the boy has since been charged with misdemeanor simple battery and has been suspended for 10 days.