In early September, 12-year-old Josh Cooper was beaten by a 15-year-old who is believed to be a fellow pupil at Wath Comprehensive School in South Yorkshire, England. The entire beating was caught on camera and posted to Facebook (video below).
"Josh was just minding his own business,” his mother, Tracy Cooper, told the Mirror. “I first found out about the attack when Josh phoned me from his friend's house afterward. He was in a right state and had already called an ambulance.”
"Then I saw the video had been posted on Facebook, it was unbelievable. The girl who posted it was only 12.”
Josh was hit in the head 23 times during the attack, reports The Irish Sun. Although his friend tried to defend him, another assailant shoved him down. "You can see it was a pre-meditated attack because the video starts before the attack begins,” Tracy told the Mirror.
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Josh had a concussion, but he has since recovered. Later, investigators made him watch the video of his own beating.
Tracy was upset that her son’s assailant wasn’t charged. "It's not on — we were told that the boy would go to youth court. They handed the case to the [Crown Prosecution Service] but they said it wasn't violent enough to take to court. How violent do you want it to get? They said that the boy who attacked Josh broke his hand, but I don't have sympathy for that.”
She added, "We were promised a meeting between Josh and his attacker where he could formally apologize for what he did, but we haven't even got that.”
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Tracy also claims the school asked her son to stay home until his face healed. "They said he'd just be drawing attention to what had happened. Josh was the victim and they were treating him like he'd done something wrong."
She said children laughed at him and made nasty comments on his first day back at school.
In the video, several people passed by but didn’t intervene. Tracy said some of them later apologized.
Josh is now seeking counseling for trauma, although he declined to transfer schools so he could stay with his friends.
“The physical scars have healed but the emotional ones are still there,” Tracy said.