EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (KMOV) – Cell phone footage captured at least six minors assaulting a 12-year-old East St. Louis student after school Wednesday.
Dominique McNeal, the mother of the 12-year-old boy seen being assaulted in the cell phone video, confirmed to News 4 that her son is a student at Lincoln Middle in the East St. Louis School District.
“He tried to fight me. I wasn’t trying to fight him,” the 12-year-old victim told News 4. “They started jumping me and stuff like that. They took my bookbag and started hitting me with it. They just bully me for no reason.”
“You have to teach your children it’s not okay to bully,” McNeal said.
McNeal told News 4 she went with her son shortly after the incident to find out what happened and talk to the kids’ parents.
“The kids, by surprise, were still standing there,” she said. “With the parents, it got kind of confrontational to the point where I got taken to jail.”
The East St. Louis School District sent News 4 the following statement about the incident:
“The safety and well-being of our students is always our top priority. The incident occurred in the community after school hours. Since learning of the event last evening, school staff have been supporting the student who was the target of this incident and will continue to provide ongoing social and emotional support. School and district personnel have been working with law enforcement to support their investigation. Students who participate in bullying or acts of violence receive disciplinary consequences following an investigation and due process.”
The East St. Louis Police Department confirmed at least six minors involved in the incident are in custody.
“There needs to be, in my belief, like the social justice kind of model where they come together and they try to work it out around the table,” said de-escalation expert, Debra Mize, who spent many years teaching students these skills Metro East schools.
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