After viral video of student beating, New Brunswick superintendent defends school
NEW BRUNSWICK — A viral video of a student being viciously beaten by a classmate at New Brunswick High School brought nearly dozens of demonstrators to the school administration building Tuesday afternoon.
As the rally shouted for "justice" and "safe schools," the parents of 15-year-old Oscar Aparicio Jr. met with schools Superintendent Aubrey Johnson.
The student told New Brunswick Today he fractured his nose, sprained his shoulder and lost a tooth in the attack, which he said took place last Thursday. Aparicio said he was jumped from behind and attacked by a student he said is a junior. The name of the teen's attacker has not been released.
WATCH: See below for disturbing video of the violent attack
On Tuesday, the teen's family members and numerous other supporters urged the school district to improve security at the high school.
"It's not right, my son was badly hurt, I'm feeling very angry and sad. I can't believe the school can allow this," the victim's father said. "What happened with the security?"
The victim's cousin, 13-year old Giselle Rodriguez, said getting "justice for Oscar" means improving school security “because the security guy as you saw in the video is just standing there watching him get beaten up.”
Johnson, looking to dispel the rumors on Tuesday afternoon, released a statement that included a timeline of the events that transpired immediately following the attack.
"We understand public concerns, and some misinformation has circulated related to an incident that occurred on Thursday, March 10, at New Brunswick High School," Johnson said, adding that the school's own security footage helped officials provide "clarification in the form of a timeline."
According to the superintendent, the following is a timeline based on the security footage:
- "The altercation lasted a total of 21 seconds, at which point district security personnel separated the students."
- "One minute after the altercation, the student who'd been assaulted was receiving on-the-spot attention from an administrator and several security officers."
- "Six minutes after the altercation, the student who'd been assaulted was in the nurse's office for evaluation."
- "The father of the student who'd been assaulted was contacted by the school nurse and arrived at the school within 15 minutes. When asked if he wished to have an ambulance called for his son, the father declined — per the preliminary police report on the incident — indicating that he would transport his son to the hospital."
"As this timeline indicates, all relevant protocols were followed. The safety and security of our students remain a top priority," Johnson said.
After meeting with the superintendent for more than an hour Tuesday afternoon, Oscar Aparicio and his wife walked back to the crowd and said he was told the student that attacked his son would be dismissed from school, and he was satisfied with the meeting.
School officials have not confirmed that the student who attacked Aparicio's son would be expelled.
Aparicio said his son is still recovering and he's scared to return, fears further attacks.
The superintendent said the school's record of being free of violence is "impressive." During the current school year, Johnson said, two state-mandated HIB (Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying) reports were filed at the high school and 40 reports were filed districtwide.
"Unfortunately, on an annual, nationwide basis, about five percent of students — specifically, 52 per every 1,000 — will be victims of a crime while at school," Johnson said in a statement. "We take every possible precaution to ensure the safety of all our students, and understand that we are guiding young people who manage a range of conflicts."
The superintendent said a meeting with the students took place Monday at which time the district's no-tolerance policy for breaking the code of conduct was emphasized.
"Parents can feel confident that any act of violence will be met with appropriate consequences, while victims of crimes will be provided the support they need," Johnson said. "To stress this point, our high school held a meeting with students on Monday, March 14, during which we re-emphasized that there will be no tolerance for dishonoring our code of conduct."
CAUTION: The following video contains graphic language and content.
David Matthau contributed to this report.
Toniann Antonelli is the digital managing editor for news at NJ 101.5. Reach her at email@example.com, or on Twitter @ToniRadio1015.