A middle schooler in California was reportedly left with serious brain and spine injuries after another student choked him last year.
According to NBC News, surveillance footage from the January 2018 incident showed a 14-year-old student punch a 12-year-old boy in the stomach and pin him against a wall outside. The alleged bully is then seen placing the tween in a stranglehold as other students surround him.
A female employee can be seen walking past the crowd moments before the sixth-grade collapses to one knee and apparently gasps for air. Video from inside the school shows several people carrying the boy and laying him on the floor before paramedics arrive.
“The violent choking attack caused significant permanent neurological and physical injury and emotional terror to a completely vulnerable child who was betrayed by the school entrusted to protect him,” the lawsuit obtained by the New York Daily News stated.
***WARNING: The video below contains content which could be disturbing to some viewers. Please use discretion.***
The 12-year-old reportedly lost consciousness twice and suffered several seizures. The lawsuit alleged staff called 911 30 minutes after the incident—and only did so after the mother arrived.
The reported incident occurred at Ánimo Westside Charter Middle School—which TMZ noted received millions of dollars of funding through Bill and Melinda Gates’ Green Dot Public School initiative. The boy’s mother is seeking unspecified damages from the charter school and Green Dot, the organization that manages it, according to KABC.
The mother’s lawyer, Ben Meiselas, told NBC News that the boy not only requires assistance with reading and writing but will need monitoring for the rest of his life. Citing the complaint, KABC reported that an MRI scan revealed a discernible difference between the right and left sides of the boy’s brain.
“Plaintiff has regressed socially, emotionally, and academically as a result of the trauma he has sustained,” the lawsuit charged. “Plaintiff will likely have to seek treatment for the remainder of his life to manage the permanent traumatic brain injuries he sustained.”
Meiselas told NBC News that school staff mishandled the January 2018 incident. The mother, who wished to remain anonymous, told the news network that the school “failed to take adequate action in order to protect the other students at the school.”
A spokesperson for Green Dot commented on the pending litigation in a statement issued to KABC.
“Green Dot is committed to working to ensure all our students receive a quality education in a safe environment where they can learn and grow. We are naturally concerned by the incident portrayed in media coverage.”
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[Featured image: TMZ video screengrab (YouTube)]