A local mother is outraged after her son was badly beaten in the Warren County High School cafeteria and no teachers intervened.
The incident, which was captured on cellphone video, shows her son sucker punched while he was walking through the cafeteria Thursday morning after breakfast. Her son was then put in a headlock and can be seen getting punched 32 more times on the 30-second video before he was released.
“Would you like your kid to go to school and come home like this?” asked mother Jane Moody pointing to her bruised son, sophomore Jake Moody. “What I want to know is what is the school going to do to correct this problem? I went up there and talked to them and received no indication anything is going to change. There’s no game plan. So we’re just waiting for another kid to get beat up.”
Jake says he didn’t fight back because he feared he would be punished by the school or Judge Larry Ross for throwing a punch. He says he is on probation and has been warned by Judge Ross not to get in any more trouble.
Director of Schools Dr. Jerry Hale had a chance to view the brutal attack on video and says students can fight back if they are attacked in such a situation.
“You are obviously allowed to defend yourself at school,” said Dr. Hale.
Warren County High School executive principal James Bennett said the student who threw the punches has been hit with criminal assault charges. He says there is a teacher assigned to monitor the cafeteria during breakfast, but the attack was planned to take place as soon as that teacher left the cafeteria.
“It occurred after breakfast was over and the bell rang for them to go to class,” said Bennett. “Once the bell rings, we have the person assigned to monitor the cafeteria step outside the double doors and monitor the students as they’re leaving the cafeteria and entering the hall. There was a person on supervision, but they had their back turned.”
Bennett said female cafeteria workers were yelling for the boy to stop throwing punches but he ignored those orders.
“I’ve told my female employees they should not get in there and try to break up a fight if it’s between two boys,” said Bennett.
Dr. Hale says he is implementing a policy change to keep the cafeteria monitor in the cafeteria until all the students have gone to class.
“We are treating this as a serious matter and will take steps to correct it,” said Dr. Hale.
Bennett said teachers and two deputies are assigned to parking lots and areas over the entire WCHS campus before and after school in an effort to prevent such incidents from occurring. He said the two boys had been exchanging angry text messages for about a week and school officials should have been made aware of the situation.
“We can’t fix a problem we don’t know anything about,” said Bennett. “This should have been reported.”
The mother says school officials haven’t done much to ease her concerns.
“This is happening right here in our county,” said Jane Moody. “As a parent, I don’t feel safe sending my kid to school. The excuse they gave me is they only have two officers. Well if that’s the case, they need more officers.”