A video captured the moment in a locker room at Fordyce High School where the white student can be seen antagonizing his male victim. As the Black student is getting dressed, the aggressor throws insults at his mother and more. At first, the unidentified victim ignores the disparaging comments but as the assailant continues, a scuffle ensues between the two. The two-minute clip also shows the Black student attempting to de-escalate the situation.
The bully ends up placing the victim in a headlock rendering him unconscious. As the Black student lays on the ground, his attacker kicks him and stomps on his head. None of the bystanders intervened and their was no visible supervision from adults present.
Fordyce High School in Fordyce, AR. The video shows a boy being bullied and assaulted. Charges should be filed. Both boys were suspended. The boy being bullied was literally suspended for defending himself. This is also not the first incident involving this same bully. pic.twitter.com/LCOLoFdqst
— Brad Betts (@870South) February 25, 2022
After school officials were notified of the on-campus fight, the two teens received a 10-day suspension igniting public outcry. Students then orchestrated a sit-in protest on Friday (March 4) in defense of their schoolmate and others who have been subjected to harassment.
The attendees were met with mixed responses while talking to officials. School principal Chase McCollum allowed the protesters to voice their frustrations and gave them praise for their efforts. However, he explained that following the school’s investigation, the punishment was justifiable based on school policy.
Forcyde graduate, Enough Smith, said the victim should not have received “the same amount” of suspension time as his aggressor. “You can see in the video that he didn’t want to fight the guy and the guy still was picking on him, throwing shoes [at] him,” per FOX16.
The school district’s superintendent, Judy Hubbell, kept her response neutral saying, “This video came to light about two days ago and we can’t discuss student discipline because that is confidential information. We are in the process of investigating this case and taking care of it.”
“We don’t want bullying on our campus. We want to have a safe campus, but this just came to light and we are working on this; we are talking through the process,” Hubbell added. “There have been disciplinary measures, but I can’t tell you what those measures are. I can’t tell you who’s involved or anything like that.”
Arkansas Senator Joyce Elliott has already been in contact with the city’s education department regarding the matter. She took to Twitter and wrote, “Somebody from the Fordyce [School] District must defend the suspension of the bullied student. This is nuts. What the hell was he supposed to do? There is no equivalency here!”
There’s been no update on the victim’s condition following the traumatic ordeal.