LAKELAND, Fla. - The video of her 12-year-old son being beaten up in the locker room at Blake Academy magnet school is hard for Lauren Springfield to watch.
“It was sad for me to watch him not fight back because not once did he raise his hands to those kids,” Springfield told FOX 13. “I was nauseated.”
The video shows an older boy punching the 6th grader repeatedly. They fall over a bench and the attack continues. Other boys can be heard laughing and cheering the aggressor on.
Springfield says the attack was especially dangerous because her son only has one kidney.
“Anytime you get kneed multiple times in your abdomen area... I mean anything could have happened,” Springfield said.
Despite his injuries, her son was back to school the next day.
The attacker, however, will be out for a while. Polk County school officials suspended him for 10 days and Lakeland police charged him with battery.
Several other boys who videotaped the incident have been suspended, as well.
“Nowhere was there supervision or an adult who came in at all,” Springfield pointed out.
School investigators are trying to figure out where the gym teacher in charge at the time of the attack was and if that person is going to be disciplined.
It is unclear what prompted the attack.
“We don’t think it was initially more than a statement that was made to another student,” said Captain Steve Pacheco of the Lakeland Police Department.
“To the parents of the child, we want to apologize to you,” said Polk County Superintendent of Schools Jacqueline Byrd. “Those things should never happen on our campuses. Never.”