Parents of a 12-year-old Black boy in Lakeland, Florida, are demanding answers after a group of white students assaulted their son inside a middle school locker room.
The incident, captured on cellphone video, shows the attackers holding the Black student down and repeatedly punching him while he is still on the ground.
A bystander in the video tells the attackers to "chill out," but the group continues to assault the boy.
Another person, who appears to be a student recording the video, says "let them fight."
A Black boy was jumped by 3 white boys at R.W. Blake Academy in Lakeland FL. Polk County School District @PolkSchoolsNews tried to cover it up and the court initially refused to issue a restraining order. The boys mother, Lauren Springfield, was persistent in calling for justice. pic.twitter.com/amw7LL4ELB— Bishop Talbert Swan (@TalbertSwan) September 14, 2019
According to the Tampa Bay Times, the incident took place in the locker room after a physical education class last week at Blake Academy in Lakeland.
The eighth-grade student who is seen punching the boy has been charged with a crime and suspended from school for 10 days, while the others will also face consequences, the Tampa Bay Times reported.
The parents of the victim said they are still worried about the safety of their son, but the school hasn't explained how it plans to protect the boy.
“I have tried to be very respectful about this, because, obviously, running a school district is hard,” Lauren Springfield, the boy's mother, told the Tampa Bays Times. “We get that. But at a certain point, the story needs to be heard.”
The parents asked what the school planned to do about the incident, but they were told the school couldn’t discuss disciplinary matters to protect the privacy of the students involved, the Tampa Bay Times reported.
A judge also denied their request when they went to the courthouse seeking an injunction.
Billy Townsend, a Polk School Board member, wrote an apology on Facebook and said a serious investigation is underway.
Townsend said the district vastly over interprets privacy rules so that a victim’s family receives little or no information about how the school is protecting/preventing any further harm for their child.