A video depicting Indian American teen Shaan Pritmani being choked for four minutes on May 11 has gone viral, sparking outrage at the incident and the way the school district handled the incident.
In the video, Pritmani is seen sitting at an empty lunch table, when an unidentified student began approaching him. When Pritmani refused to give up his seat, the student began choking him to remove Pritmani from his seat — both students attend Coppell Middle School in Texas, according to Firspost.
Coppell Superintendent Dr Brad Hunt in an email stated that: “Coppell ISD is aware of a video circulating on social media showing an incident at Coppell Middle School North involving a physical altercation between two students. Bullying, both verbal and physical, as well as physical acts of aggression are never acceptable and do not align with who we are at CISD and our core values.”
According to Pritmani’s parents, Sonika and Kamlesh, their son was suspended by the school for three days. The other student involved in the incident was suspended for a day, according to the Deccan Herald. Both students are now represented by attorneys.
Marwa Elbially, attorney for the Pritmani family, stated that the school’s decision sends a message that condones bullying.
“The school can preach all it wants that they’re anti-bullying and place it on their website, but they are sending a message to this kid and the rest of the student body that this behavior is acceptable,” Elbially said.
Mike Lassiter, attorney for the other student involved, said that the student was “responding to vulgar and violent threats against his family.”
Pritmani’s mother has since created an online petition with over 200,000 signatures demanding that the other student be removed from the school.
“Shaan should never have to take a class, interact, or pass the hallways with this aggressor ever again,” Sonika said in a statement on the petition page. “Shaan should be able to continue his school experience, friendships and extra-curricular activities with zero worry of ever having to cross paths with this student again. He does not feel safe.”
The petition also alleged that school authorities have seen the viral video, but refused to comply with Pritmani’s parents request to file a complaint.
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