The Short of It
Parents of a 12-year-old boy in Austin, Texas, are upset with school administrators after their son was involved in a "slap boxing" fight.
Parents of a sixth-grader are ready to pull him out of school after he was bullied into participating in a slap boxing fight in the restroom during lunch.
The boy—whose name has not been released for privacy reasons—was reportedly approached by a group of boys during the class period before lunch and was asked to take part in slap boxing. (Slap boxing, for the uninitiated, is a physical activity that simulates boxing but uses open hands instead of fists.)
The boy's parents Chris and Christina told KVUE that when their 12-year-old said 'No,' the group then bullied him into participating by calling him a chicken and saying they would beat him up if he didn't.
So while one of the students recorded the fight on his phone, their son began slap boxing with another boy, who then threw their son to the ground and started punching him. Video posted to Instagram reportedly showed Chris and Christina's son covering his head with his arms. The fighting stopped when one of the students watching interrupted.
"I probably would have been beaten up more," said the 12-year-old. He earned a scholarship his fifth-grade year for having high grades, but now he doesn't want to go back to school because he said he's afraid of more bullying.
So where is the school in all this? And how does a slap-boxing fight go unnoticed in the middle of the school day?
According to a letter the middle school's principal Dan Diehl sent home to alert parents about the event, an investigation was launched after the recording was brought to his attention, and it was determined that students had planned the altercation.
"No students were seriously injured," he wrote. "Bedichek Middle School does not condone this behavior and takes the safety of each student very seriously."
Christina was not pleased with Diehl's dismissal of the event, and she said school administrators basically placed the blame on her son, and at one point, even called him "a punk."
"I was really upset for them to classify this as horseplay, especially when kids are video recording it and it's going viral," she said. "And then on top of that, what are the kids going to do to my son the next day? Are they going to beat him up for us going to the school?"
Not surprisingly, Chris and Christina are now looking for a new school for their son.