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Student speaks out after in-school attack | News

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Student speaks out after in-school attack

DECATUR, Ga. (WXIA) -- Franklin Butler said he saw the student approach out of the corner of his eye, but never realized what he was about to do.

"I thought he was walking by to go to another desk," Franklin said.

The Cedar Grove Middle School seventh grader was in in-school suspension on October 19 when the attack occurred. His mother says her son was spending time in ISS for throwing paper during another class.

Franklin said the 14-year-old student never explained why he was hitting him; he just kept saying "boom" with each new punch. The shy 12-year-old did not want to show his face on camera, but he described the incident to 11Alive's Blayne Alexander.

"First he started slapping me," Franklin said. "At first I thought he was playing, but when he started punching me, I knew he was serious."

"The doctors already said that they won't be able to get it back to the way that it was because of the way it was broken," Butler said. 

But she does not just fault the attacker; Butler believes the person holding the camera must have known something was about to happen.

"It was almost like, 'hold up a minute before you go - let me get my camera set up'," she said.

But disturbing as it was, Butler was happy to at least have the video this time. She says when her son was hit last March, as a sixth grader, that was not the case. She says her son was punched in the mouth during gym class, after another student accused Franklin of throwing a bottle cap at him.

Butler showed Alexander a picture of her son's chipped tooth from that incident.

"Almost took half his tooth off," she said.

A spokesperson for DeKalb County Schools says the safety and health of all students is the district's most important priority. In addition to suspension and time in an alternative school, the district incident report says the student will likely face criminal charges.

Butler said she has already begun the process of finding her son another school.

"We have to come together to stop this," she said. "I can't allow it. Each time it's gotten worse and worse."


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