(SEMMES, Ala.) — An Alabama school district continues to investigate a viral video of a student allegedly being bullied, verbally and physically, by other students at Semmes Middle School, in Mobile County, earlier this month.
In the 59-second video that was posted on social media, Drew Breton, 13, can be seen walking down the hallway in the Semmes, Alabama, school as he is taunted by several students. The video focuses on one student shoving him in the back and later striking him repeatedly in the head after Breton tells him, “Back off.”
Other students also can be heard saying, “Do it again!” When Breton tries to run away, dipping into a crowd of students, he is struck again. With Breton cornered, students can be heard saying “Beat his a– again!” as he suffers several more hits. Then, the video ends.
Kimberly Breton, 42, who is Drew Breton’s mother, told AL.com that the incident in the video had occurred Nov. 4. She said she believed it was sparked by another incident the previous day, in which Drew had called a different student, not in the video, a “coward” for hitting him.
Before the video surfaced, Drew had been suspended from school for fighting on the day the video was shot and she questioned the details of what incident that lead to the punishment.
But when Drew heard the incident had been recorded on video, he told Kimberly who then found it online and downloaded it, according to AL.com.
Kimberly became emotional when she saw what happened in the video.
“I think I cursed and I was like, ‘He’s not fighting at all,” she told AL.com. “‘He’s walking away. He’s defending himself.'”
Drew’s older brother, Corbin Breton, posted the video to Facebook on Nov. 13. To date, the video has 51,000 shares and 3.8 million views. Rena Philips, Mobile County Public Schools’ communications director, told ABC News via e-mail that several students had been disciplined but declined to give further details.
“These are minors and we are prohibited by law to speak about specific punishments,” Philips told ABC News.
During the incident seen in the video, no teachers, teachers’ assistants or hall monitors appear to be present.
Phillips told ABC News, “We are investigating the lack of teachers in the hall.”
She said the school superintendent had responded to the incident in a Facebook video posted Monday.
“In response to an incident that was reported involving Semmes Middle School, I want to assure you that this incident is being taken very seriously, that a complete and thorough investigation is being conducted and that appropriate actions will be taken, when all the facts are known regarding this situation,” Superintendent Martha Peek said in the video. “Safety and security of our students is of utmost importance and this matter will be handled in order to ensure the safety and security of every student at Semmes Middle School and also in the Mobile County Public School System.”
The Facebook post followed an initial statement released by the school district Saturday that said: “Mobile County Public Schools officials are aware that a video is circulating Facebook showing bullying at Semmes Middle School. Disciplinary actions were taken when the incident took place. Matters like this are very serious and unacceptable in our schools. We urge everyone to report bullying and threats of bullying.”
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