Student unable to talk after getting attacked at Rotonda West school

Reporter: Rodaris Richardson
Published: Updated:

A student airlifted from school still cannot speak, and the sheriff’s office updated WINK News on his recovery after being picked up and slammed head-first into the ground by another student.

Students at LA Ainger Middle in Rotonda West are traumatized by what they saw unfold in the cafeteria.

WINK News has learned that the student underwent surgery and is able to open his eyes and move his arms.

The Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office said doctors are hopeful his condition will improve, but he has a long and hard road to recovery ahead of him.

Students said the victim had just moved to their school.

“He’s a brand-new kid in school. So, he didn’t know him that well. But he said he was a very, very funny kid. And he didn’t know English very well,” said Brandy Philman, a parent to an eighth-grade student.

But he does know what happened at their school shouldn’t happen to anyone.

“When my son got home, he told me the story of what happened because he was actually in the lunch room and saw it. And it’s very upsetting,” said Philman.

The classmate was airlifted from LA Ainger Middle School Thursday after what deputies said was an unprovoked incident that left the victim with traumatic injuries.

“He’s just like, something really, really, really bad happened at school today, Mom,” said Philman.

The Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office said the student suspect has a ‘disciplinary history.’

“My understanding is the student who was involved in this attack, has had previous incidents at this school. And also my understanding is there’s a video of those incidents,” said Greg Henderson, a parent to a seventh-grade student.

Some parents like Michael Jelley said it was hard dropping his child off for school.

“I stayed a little longer to make sure she just walked in a little hesitant, but I mean, it’s not likely that something like that is gonna happen two days in a row, but it makes you a little more cautious,” said Jelley, a parent to a sixth-grade student.

But parents are agreeing that what happened at the school should not.

“It’s not tolerable. You shouldn’t put your hands on another student,” said Jelley. “I didn’t even know these kids and as a parent, you just, if that was my kid, how would I feel? I feel so bad for them. I just hope he’s okay.”

The school had mental health crisis teams on campus Friday. The student who was arrested Thursday faces charges of aggravated battery.

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