Police make arrest in school attack

by: Ryan Young Updated:

ATLANTA,None - Police have made an arrest in the attack of a 16-year-old inside a high school classroom.

The victim's mother, Meredith, said she felt there was a lack of response after her son was beaten up at Westlake High School in south Fulton County.

"He's got some lifelong issues. You can't apologize for taking the innocence and security away from my child," Meredith said.

She is still searching for answers for how five students could enter her son's school classroom during class and attack him in front of a substitute teacher and students.

The attack broke his nose and injured him so badly doctors had to wire his mouth shut and put a metal plate in his jaw.

"He still has a lot of pain right now. We are doing pain management. Sometimes he will come off … the pain is so high he has to get back to it," Meredith said.

After the attack, Meredith said her son sat for more than an hour in need of medical care. She told Channel 2's Ryan Young he was still spitting up blood even after she arrived at the school to take him to the hospital.


Meredith said there was "no one qualified to deal with emergency care" at the school.

Young learned school officials have cellphone video of the attack and that the Fulton County DA's office intends to upgrade the charges against the attackers to felonies.

Officers said they have arrested a 15-year-old in connection to the attack. On his Facebook page he brags about attacking the boy during fourth period.

The victim's attorney said they are now investigating what happened before the attack.

"We are concerned because he is alleged to assault a police officer not a week and a half prior to this incident and allow him back; what do they think he will do with students?" attorney Esther Panitch said.

"There is a culture of violence in the schools and I feel grateful that God put this burden on my family, because God knew we were strong enough to handle it. He know we have the kind of spirit we were going to fight for the right of my son," Meredith said.

Late Wednesday afternoon, Westlake Principal Dr. Grant Rivera posted a letter to parents addressing the incident on the school's website.

In it Grant said, "We have identified all students involved in this situation.  These students will be held responsible for their actions in accordance with the Fulton County Schools Code of  Conduct and Discipline Handbook.

"As your principal, I offer a heartfelt apology to the students and families impacted by this incident.  Although I am unable to share additional details regarding this situation due to student confidentiality, it is important to me that we, to the greatest degree possible, be honest and transparent in our communication. 

"I assure you we take very seriously our responsibility to maintain safety, order, and discipline at Westlake.  I will continue to work collaboratively with students, staff, and families to make the necessary improvements so our children feel safe and successful."