EXCLUSIVE: Mother Calls For Change After Son Attacked In Northeast Philadelphia
By Steve Patterson
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A vicious attack on a local student, and now parents everywhere are calling for schools to make changes.
Tonight we hear from a mother, who’s son suffered a similar beating, and continues to struggle with his education.
CBS 3’s Steve Patterson has the exclusive report.
It is a video stirring concern and causing outrage.
For more than thirty seconds, two boys attack and beat a middle-schooler, while their friend cackles over recording cell phone video.
“I mean it’s a parent’s worst nightmare,” frmer Northeast High School Parent Aina Laws said.
Laws says the same thing happened in the beginning of January to her 10th grader between Woodrow Wilson Middle School and Northeast High.
She says her son stopped when he saw a fight break out. A group of students were already attacking one boy, before turning on him.
“They were hitting, kicking. He was on the ground and he said he just crawled into a ball trying to protect himself,” Laws said.
Laws says her son Kaine was attacked in a very similar matter, same neighborhood except instead of two kids there were ten. There was no video and Laws says very little support from the district.
“I just think that the school dropped the ball on helping us,” Laws said.
Laws filed a police report and they identified one of the students who was suspended.
She says officials gave her two options for her son after repeated calls for help — choose another school or put him back in Northeast.
Pennsylvania Department of Education Standards say a student who is a victim of a violent crime is allowed to transfer to another school. Laws says she was only given the option for neighborhood schools, which only included Fels and Lincoln High.
Fels is a school with a recent history of violence, and Lincoln is listed as a 2014 “Unsafe School.”
Kaine is now enrolled in online classes until Laws finds a permanent solution for the next school year.
“The school district’s policy on helping victims of an assault, it needs to be changed,” Laws said.
CBS 3′s Steve Patterson received a phone call from the School District of Philadelphia spokesman.
He tells CBS 3 the Northeast High School principal spent a substantial about of time with Laws, assuring her that her son would be safe and encouraging him to come back to school.