From EAG: PENN HILLS, Pa. – Margaret Wooding wants her son’s tormentors brought to justice, and school officials seem happy to comply.
“I’m kind of angry and hurt. I feel like the violence of anybody, not just me, should stop,” Isaiah Wooding, 16, told CBS Pittsburgh. “When I got up, I couldn’t even move at the time. I didn’t even know what hit me.”
Wooding, who lives with Cerebral Palsy, was knocked to the ground at Penn Hills High School last week in a premeditated attack that was recorded and posted online, Margaret Wooding told the news site.
The video shows students laughing as Wooding rounds a corner in the hallway before a large black student kicks Wooding in the chest, sending him to the ground. Wooding is seen in the video lying motionless on the hallway floor as his bully stands over him, TribLive.com reports.
“This was intentionally done. He did not know this was coming. It was set up. Everybody laughing,” Margaret Wooding told CBS Pittsburgh. “Is I just want them removed from school whereas my son can go to school and not have to look at them.”
The mother believes the students involved in the attack should be expelled and prosecuted through the criminal justice system. She also believes the school district should take action to help prevent a similar situation in the future.
“I want them to set up a workshop for children to be able to feel comfortable speaking out, going to someone, telling them what’s happening and someone actually listening to them,” Margaret Wooding said.
School officials seem to agree, and have vowed to get to the bottom of the incident and punish the students involved, according to a statement posted to PennLive.com.
“The Penn Hills School District is deeply concerned and saddened by what is being displayed via social media and at least one local news channel,” superintendent Nancy Hines wrote. “The PHHS administration began an immediate investigation when concerns were first reported yesterday.
“Their investigation continues, and anyone having played a role will be dealt with accordingly, including referrals to local law enforcement. Assuming the video clips are authentic and have not been altered, our full staff and Board are absolutely disgusted and embarrassed by the lack of compassion displayed by students closest to the incident and those who created further upset by recording and posting those terrible images online,” the statement continued.
“This is NOT the Penn Hills Way, and we know the overwhelming majority of our students are embarrassed and disgusted as well!!!”
Isaiah Wooding told CBS Pittsburgh he hopes to use his experience to highlight the pain caused through bullying and initiate a conversation to “finally end bullying and all this hurt and disappointment and anger that everyone has to go through.”
Regardless, Wooding doesn’t plan to use the incident as an excuse to miss class or avoid school.
“I know he’s hurt. But guess what, he wants to go back to school,” Margaret Wooding said. “He will be back in school Monday morning and his mother will be with him.”