Brandon and Lauren Springfield’s son was held down and assaulted at school for nearly three minutes by white students, and the parents are demanding answers. According to the Orlando Sentinel, there was no adult supervision or intervention during the attack, which was captured on video at Blake Academy in Lakeland, Florida.
Heavy.com reports that Lauren was called to the school, when she was informed her son was involved in a “scuffle.” When she arrived, she found him battered with cuts, bruises and welts on his head and face.
Later that evening, the parents received a video from a parent of a high school student that proved the incident was not a school yard fight, but an assault against her son, who is Black, by several white students.
“My son was attacked. In a violent, malicious manner … as one student repeatedly hit him over and over again, others not only held my son down so that the student could hit him but encouraged the attack. I am enraged,” Lauren Springfield wrote on Facebook. “You hear the kids not only cursing but encouraging the attack and not stepping in to stop what was happening.”
The mother revealed her son has “one kidney, and after getting kneed several times, this could have resulted in permanent damage.” She continued, “He was thrown on the floor over a bench, hit his head, all while others watched. And all they can tell me is they will handle it – this is unacceptable.”
On Wednesday, the family attended court to file a restraining order or injunction against the students, but was swiftly denied by a judge because the attack was a one-time occurrence.
The Lakeland police department and school held a press conference on Thursday, where they revealed one student was criminally charged for misdemeanor simple battery and suspended for 10 days.
I'm triggered. This mother on FB shared a video of her son being attacked by kids in the boys locker room at R. W. Blake Academy in Lakeland, FL. She says the school administrators @PolkSchoolsNews aren't giving her any info on how they plan to handle the other kids involved. pic.twitter.com/t6RhFyuSuy— attackLZRD! (@attackLZRD) September 12, 2019
Three other kids participating in the attack were reportedly disciplined through the school’s code of conduct policy.
The teacher who was assigned to supervise the kids during the attack is also under investigation. Disciplinary action is pending based on the outcome, according to Polk County Schools’ superintendent Jacqueline Byrd.
On Lauren’s Facebook post, she stated that if the attack had been reversed — one white student assaulted by a group of Black kids — “we would be having a completely different conversation.”
Superintendent Byrd was asked during the press conference if racism was a factor in how the case was being handled. She said the incident is being investigated and that she “can’t say if racism is involved.” Byrd declared that an incident like this “should not happen to any student.”