The parents of a seventh-grade student, who was beaten up in a locker room at Blake Academy in Lakeland, Fl. on Sept. 10 while other students filmed the beating, are demanding that a teacher who was present during the altercation be fired.
What We Know:
- The mother of the child who was attacked, Lauren Springfield, said she was unaware of the full extent of what happened until her neighbor shared videos of it with her. The video showing three white students punching and kicking her son, who is black, paints a different story than what the school nurse told her. Lauren’s husband, Brandon, was “infuriated” by the video, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
- Springfield said her son had a swollen eye and a knot on his forehead afterwards. She believes the outcome could’ve been worse considering her son was born with only one kidney. “Anything could’ve happened. He could’ve passed out and they could’ve left him there. He could’ve hit his head really hard, harder than it was hit,” she told the news outlet.
- Polk County Public Schools Superintendent Jacqueline Byrd apologized to the parents. She said the district was investigating the incident. “I will tell you that the teachers are supposed to be ensuring all students are safe when they’re in their care. We’re investigating the teacher and discipline will follow as well,” said Byrd at a news conference.
- The physical education teacher who was in charge of the students involved has been placed on paid administrative leave, according to Spectrum News. Springfield also called for the teacher to be fired. “The fact that the teacher was in the locker room, heard the commotion going on and failed to come out and check on the students, I think that that is a paramount part of your job. If you are not protecting our students, then that is not the job for you,” said Springfield.
- The student who attacked Springfield’s son has been issued a 10-day suspension and charged with misdemeanor simple battery. Springfield believes the alleged attackers should be expelled from the school. School district officials said the other students involved have been suspended as well but did not disclose for how long.
- The video of the incident went viral on social media and garnered several shares and comments. Some Twitter users felt angered by the video and even offered up solutions for how they would have handled the situation.
Springfield has hired an attorney and is weighing her options. Additionally, she is demanding a full investigation and that the alleged attacker is held accountable.
Tomorrow will be one week since my child was bullied, attacked and beaten. We still have yet to receive a safety plan on how school leaders plan to keep our child safe as he receives his education… (more info on FB and IG @iamkingsprings) pic.twitter.com/2Mjn6KGx2h
— Brandon Springfield (@iamkingsprings) September 16, 2019
View this post on Instagram
ONCE AGAIN Facebook/IG finds it fit to side with the school board by constantly deleting my and YOUR post, no worries I won’t stop, WE WONT STOP!!!. Please share repost it. #wewontbesilenced Tomorrow will be one week since my child was bullied, attacked and beaten. We still have yet to receive a safety plan on how school leaders plan to keep our child safe as he receives his education ( a safety plan should be pretty standard at this point for schools). Being that school leadership worked hard to keep the video off Facebook and to conduct a press conference and to educate the students on cell phone procedures following the attack (instead of emotional and social education/bullying code of conduct review etc.) you would think they would work equally as hard to protect our child. Sadly and to no surprise, at this point, that is not their goal. Their goal instead is self preservation as they try to get in front of the media stories and cover up not only the severity of the attack but also what actually took place. If you look closely in the video, my son was holding onto the bench as he was pulled by 3 students, 2 of which had him in headlocks, once getting him away from the bench one proceeded to corner him and hold him as the main attacker began to knee our child. News media have stated the attack lasted until 2 students broke it up but in fact we have additional videos that show otherwise. The students stopped when they felt like stopping, there was no dramatic rescue simply shown by the fact that for the majority of the video all you see the students doing is laughing, smiling and tying their shoes will smiling. We will not be silent about this situation and we ask that you all download and share this video as much as possible until true justice and resolve happens. If you are in Florida we invite you to tomorrow’s school board meeting in Bartow at 5 PM please make sure to‼️SHOW UP‼️ NEXT POLK COUNTY SCHOOL BOARD MEETING ❗️Tuesday, September 17 @ 5 PM❗️ School Board Auditorium 1915 S Floral Avenue in Bartow, FL Inbox my wife @laurenparkes if you’re coming!