A Black mother in Michigan was shocked and disappointed to learn her 10-year-old son is facing assault charges for injuring a student during a schoolyard game in April.
On July 24, Cameishi Lindley received a call from Wayne County Juvenile Court that her soon-to-be fifth grader, Bryce, is being charged with aggravated assault over the incident, 7 Action News reported.
Lindley explained the game her son was playing is similar to dodgeball except students throw the ball in the air.
"These kids are basically playing a game we all have played," Lindley told the local news station.
On April 29, Bryce was playing the game at Ruth Eriksson Elementary in Canton when an unidentified student was struck in the face with a ball. That student's mother told 7 Action News her son has a medical condition that makes head injuries especially dangerous.
According to the police report, Lindley’s son intentionally threw the ball at the boy's face, causing him to suffer a concussion.
“He sustained facial tissue damage to his face. He had a black eye and a bruised nose," the other parent said told 7 Action News.
Bryce was suspended from school for one day and Lindley thought the situation was over.
“I couldn’t believe it," Lindley said regarding the charge. “This is a kid that was playing on the playground with his friends,” she added.
The victim’s mother said her son has experienced similar incidents at school before.
“I tried not to let it get to this point," the other boy's mother told 7 Action News.
The mother of the boy said her son had been targeted during games before, and that she reported it to the school in mid-April.
“My son was hit twice in the face with a ball previously due to this. The child apologized to my son and my son said, 'Mom, it’s OK, we’re still going to be friends.'"
Lindley said she and Bryce were not aware the victim has a medical condition.
“I am unaware of any of those situations," Lindley said. "I’m sorry that her child got hurt. I’d be sorry for any child that got hurt.”
Lindley wishes this particular incident could have been handled at the school instead of in court. She also believes the child should not have been playing the game if he was particularly susceptible to injuries.
This case will go before a judge in Juvenile Court August 1 for a pre-trial conference.
Lindley has created a fundraiser to help pay for her son's legal fees.