DALLAS - A disturbing video of teenagers fighting is making its rounds on social media.
The video, taken in a bathroom stall at T.W. Browne Middle School, shows an older male student punching and then stomping on a younger boy, who pleads for the attacker to stop. Other students can be heard laughing.
Both students have been identified. Sources say the victim in the attack was taken to a hospital as a precaution. He suffered minor abrasions and bruising to his back.
Sources tell WFAA a 13-year-old boy has been arrested on a charge of “injury to a child” in connection with the incident. He has been taken into juvenile custody.
"It's something that sickens me,” said T.W. Browne alum Jorge Rodriguez who went to the school on Wednesday looking for assurances from school administration that his younger brother was safe at the school. His brother, a 6th grader, was not involved in the incident.
The teen who took the video has also been identified and has not been charged at this time.
But no one was sickened more than Mayra Rodriguez. Her 11-year old son Julio Ortiz Jr, a student at nearby Stockard Middle School, committed suicide, just six weeks ago. She found him in his room at home. He’d hung himself from his closet.
She blames bullying and fears it may have been something similar to what she saw when a friend sent her the bullying video from T.W. Browne.
"I cried. I prayed. I said 'Lord you're here or you're not here. Make me a sign. Tell me Julio's OK. Tell me Julio did not go through all that.'"
Allison Burke at Hope City Dream Center in Oak Cliff watched the video too.
"It breaks my heart that kids are treating one another that way,” she said.
The church and community resource center has been working with schools, and with local parents, searching for a solution for both the victim and the bully in incidents like this.
Hope City Dream Center held a town hall meeting late last month after Julio Ortiz’s suicide. More than 200 parents attended the event searching for answers to the bullying problem.
"I think we have to address both sides,” Burke said. “We have to address the bullies and we have to address the ones who are getting bullied. I don't think that it's a one-sided solution."
"That kid is leading a miserable life that needs to be attended to,” Mayra Rodriguez said, talking about the bully in this latest incident. “He needs to be loved. I'm pretty sure that if you grabbed that boy and hugged him, that boy needs love."
Dallas ISD police issued the following statement on their Facebook page:
In response to outrage on social media, T.W. Browne Middle School's principal wrote that he was “saddened that this incident took place, and disappointed that there were on-lookers. We will ensure the victim is nurtured and supported through this ordeal.”
An ordeal that Mayra Rodriguez, just six weeks after her son took his own life, wishes she hadn’t seen.
"Sometimes I wish I would shut my eyes and not see what I saw. Because when I close my eyes I see something horrible,” she said, admitting she sees her son as the young victim in the video.
And she continues to pray that Julio's story should be enough to make bullying never happen again.
The fight video was posted on Oak Cliff, Dallas Texas Latino Media's page. WARNING: the video may contain disturbing imagery that some may find difficult to watch.
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