Students charged in Discovery Middle School fight
SOUTH BEND, Ind.-- It’s the viral cell phone video of an assault that happened earlier this month inside the boys bathroom at Discovery Middle School in Granger that got two 14-year-old boys arrested.
“In the video you can actually see one child striking, we counted 11 times into the head of another child. While the second individual who’s detained encouraged him to do so," said St. Joseph County Prosecutor, Ken Cotter.
Landing those punches have now landed that teen behind bars and prosecutors say standing behind the camera isn’t any different.
“There’s more than one way to have criminal liability. You can be the person who commits everything or you can be the person who supports it and encourages and sends it. Both are equally responsible. So the kid that filmed it owns every punch that hit that kid in the face even though he never threw one," said St. Joseph County Chief Deputy Prosecutor, Eric Tamashasky
The boys whose names are not being released because of their ages are both charged with the juvenile equivalent of battery resulting in serious bodily injury.
The victim suffered severe injuries including a concussion and prosecutors say he will likely need additional surgery to repair his nose.
Injuries that prosecutors believe could’ve been avoided because multiple students knew what was going to happen that day, but didn’t say anything.
“Not one kid had the courage to go to somebody and stand up for their classmate," said Tamashasky.
Prosecutors say those who didn’t say anything narrowly missed being charged themselves.
“This is a big message that this bullying stuff has got to stop. People have to stand up for one another, they have to protect each other. This is an example of a big failure to do that," said Tamashasky.
Prosecutors and police say the charges against those boys---should be a warning for all students tempted to videotape a fight---and their parents.