An extremely disturbing video made its way to the Internet showing a White kid beating a Black boy in the locker room of a Florida middle school. The clip shows the kid holding him down and hitting him repeatedly while other students watch. An adult was nowhere to be found, according to the clip.
The mother of the Black kid, Lauren Springfield made a Facebook post about the incident that has since gone viral.
“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.”
Springfield said it wasn’t until she received videos from parents of a high school student that she realized 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 she went to the courthouse in an attempt to get a restraining order against the kids. However, the judge argued that since the attack allegedly didn’t happen multiple times, Springfield would not be granted the 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 brought attention to the racial aspect of the violence. “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.”
Springfield finished off by saying some policy changes should be made to protect children.
One Polk County school board member, Billy Townsend, responded to Springfield’s demands, writing on Facebook:
“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.”
Eventually, charges were brought against one of the students. The police and the superintendent of Polk County Public Schools held a press conference where they said that students were disciplined “on the school side” while one of the boys was charged with misdemeanor simple battery and has been suspended for 10 days. You can watch the full details below.