Lauren Springfield is calling for the teacher who was actionless while her Black son was assaulted by a group of white students to be fired.
Springfields’ son, whose name has not been released, had only been a student at Blake Academy for about 6 weeks when the assault occurred. The attack lasted nearly three minutes and no adult intervened.
During the video, an adult’s voice can be heard instructing the students to stop, but no one actually stepped in.
“We learned that the teacher was actually in the locker room and that I don’t understand that. How can you be in the locker room in your office, hear this going on, and you just tell the kids to chill out? You never once get up in the span of four minutes to go and check on the child? I don’t understand that,” Springfield stated.
Now, Springfield is demanding justice for her 12-year-old, and wants “the punishments to actually match the severity of what happened.”
“Your number one priority is the safety of your students. Originally I was trying to give him the benefit of the doubt because I’ve been a teacher, but then to know that he was right there and couldn’t stop it,” said Springfield to WTSP. “I mean we could be having such a different conversation right now. Had he hit his head harder, had the right punch been thrown he could’ve had permanent damage. He could’ve been dead.”
During an interview, Springfield revealed how the attack could have quickly turned fatal, as her son only has one kidney and “after getting kneed several times, this could have resulted in permanent damage.” Her son suffered from cuts, welts and bruises on his head and face following the attack.
The Lakeland police department has already charged one student, who was suspended for 10 days, with misdemeanor simple battery. Three other kids who joined in the attack or who recorded the videos of the beating were reportedly disciplined through the school’s code of conduct policy.
The physical education teacher, who has an office in the locker room where the attack happened, was reportedly “in the area,” according to Polk County Superintendent Jacqueline Byrd, during Springfield’s son attack. The district will investigate where the teacher was “in proximity to those students.” The school says the teacher may face possible disciplinary action.