Student beaten up in cellphone video speaks

Published On: Mar 12 2013 04:07:38 PM EDT   Updated On: Mar 12 2013 08:31:58 PM EDT

VIDEO: A local teen -- seen on camera trying to shield himself from a beating -- is now speaking out.


It's a question Kyle Stewart keeps asking himself after being blindsided by one of his classmates.

"For a gang initiation? Really? Why me?" the 17-year-old said.

Stewart is seen in cellphone video getting punched repeatedly while simply sitting at his desk in science class at Baldwin Middle-Senior High School.

"I didn't know what to think," Stewart said. "I tried to find a reason first. I don't like to fight."

Stewart (pictured, right) said the attack was a setup, and he said the 16-year-old attacker's motive may have been to join a gang.

Stewart's family is now considering legal action, saying this was more than a fight -- it was criminal.

"This was not fight. This was an assault," Stewart's mother, Felicia Stewart, said. "And I feel like the student that did this to my son should have more consequences than (five) days (of suspension)."

The fight is the second melee at the school caught on video recently. Stewart's mother said she didn't see the video until Monday on Channel 4. She wishes the Duval County School Board would have showed her the video first.

"I want him to be counseled, and when I saw the video on your station, I wanted to know why both parents weren't shown the video," Felicia Stewart said.

"There are some concerns regarding procedures at this school, regarding follow-up to referrals, implementing code of conduct in a fair way," Superintendent Nikolai Vitti said. "I've sent district administrators at the school to conduct some investigations."

Vitti said the School Board is reviewing safety protocols and disciplinary measures at Baldwin. Whether or not the fight video was recorded for entry to a gang is something that's also still under investigation.

"At this point, I have no evidence that it was gang-related," Vitti said. "It doesn't mean it was not, but we have no information at this point."


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