CAVE CITY , AR(KAIT) – A grainy cell phone video recorded in Cave City has gone viral.
The video shows adisabled high school student getting punched in the face several times, whilehis class watches.
The incident hasoutraged the student's parents, who demand that the Cave City School Districtdo more to deal with what they say is a persistent problem with bullying.
"My son can'treturn to school because he's in fear," Kristina Rogers said, "and I don'tblame him."
Rogers now plans tokeep her 15-year-old son, Keith, at home after he was attacked at school twoweeks ago.
"As his mother,"she said, "in good conscience, I couldn't send him back."
Rogers says her sonhas been repeatedly bullied at school, but it reached another level on March 5,2013.
That day, Rogerssays several students provoked a fight between another boy and her son. She says the students kept telling the boythat her son wanted to date him. She claims the boy then confronted Keith inhis agriculture class and slugged him several times, knocking him to theground.
Rogers says her sonsustained a concussion during and broke his glasses, which are specially made forhim because he is legally blind.
Rogers acquired avideo the day after the fight that one of her son's classmates reportedlyrecorded. She decided to post it online to social media to raise awarenessabout bullying and provoke the school to act.
"I grieve overthis," she said. "Every day I wake up, it's like I've got the news thatsomebody has died."
Rogers says her son'salleged attacker was suspended from school for five days and cited fordisorderly conduct, but the prosecuting attorney's office in Sharp County toldher Friday that the charges have been upgraded to battery in the third degree.
"I think that thecourts can handle that adequately," she said. "I'm now looking for the schoolto handle it adequately."
Rogers plans to bringup her concerns Monday evening when she addresses the Cave City School Board.
"This hasdefinitely been something that we're taking seriously, and it's something we'regoing to give every bit of attention to," said Superintendent Steven Green.
Green says hisstaff members took the appropriate actions when this incident was reported tothem. He, however, could offer no information about what disciplinary actionshave been taken since then, citing personnel and student confidentiality.
"We don't wantanything like this ever happening here," he said. "We don't want it to happenanywhere, but we sure don't want it to happen again in Cave City."
Green would now liketo assure parents that in light of this incident, the district will review itsanti-bullying policies and may enact tougher measures.
"You wish you could'vehad the opportunity to have been there or done something to stop it butunfortunately what's done is done," Green said. "Now, the focus for us is to doall we can to make sure something like this doesn't happen again to anybody."
Green expected theschool board to likely begin its discussions about possible changes to itsbullying policy on Monday night.
The family of the boyaccused of starting the fight has also confirmed that it has now hired alawyer. Oscar Jones, an attorney in Batesville, has yet to return multiplerequests for comment about the charges his client is now facing.