This article originally appeared in WXII 12 WINSTON-SALEM.
By Bill O’Neil
WILKESBORO, N.C. —
Warning: Some details in this story and video may be disturbing.
Five students at Wilkes Central High School in Wilkesboro are facing criminal charges for assaulting a fellow student on school property.
Students who witnessed the April 22 attack recorded it on their cell phones and posted the video on social media.
WXII 12 News is not sharing the video because of its graphic nature.
The video shows a group of five students wrestling a 15-year-old sophomore to the ground in a locker room at the high school.
One of the attackers is seen shoving a broom handle on the victim’s rear end.
“I was also so mad,” said Javon Miller, the victim’s father. “Like, especially after seeing a video and listening to the principal, Dr. Stock, saying, ‘Oh, I think this is horseplay and I want to follow it.’ That really enraged me.”
Miller said what happened to his son was anything but horseplay.
According to Miller, the school principal never contacted authorities, didn’t inform parents of the accident and did nothing to stop students from sharing the video of the attack.
Miller believes the attack on his son was sexual assault.
“Then you see another kid come up with a broom and begin to put it in the bottom,” Miller said.
Miller says his son has not said if the broomstick penetrated his bottom.
He doesn’t know why the attack happened to his son. The family has hired an attorney with plans to file a lawsuit.
“We do plan on bringing charges against the high school, the school administration, the school district itself for their utter failures, their disregard, their negligence, their gross negligence, their lack of supervision, their negligent hiring practices, et cetera,” Strom Law Firm attorney Bakari Sellers said.
WXII 12 News reached out to Dion Stocks, the principal at Wilkes Central High School, who declined to comment.
Wilkes County Schools Superintendent Mark Byrd said in a statement the district was aware of the incident.
“As with any incident involving student safety, this matter was taken very seriously when addressed at the school level in April. Because Wilkes County Schools has received notice of potential litigation in this matter, upon the advice of the council, no further comment will be issued at this time,” the statement said.
Byrd told WXII 12 News he did not watch the video of the assault.
Three underage students were sentenced to six months of supervision for their role in the attack as part of a court-sanctioned diversion program.
Two other students, Andrew Call and Terry Hayes, who are both considered adults by the courts, are scheduled to appear in court Aug. 4 on simple assault charges.
“I don’t want to ruin these kids’ lives, but they have to know this is not okay,” Miller said.
Miller said his son was already shy and introverted. The assault made him “shut completely down.”
Miller believes the video of the assault captured by students being shared on social media makes the entire incident much worse.
Miller wants justice for his son and wants him to know what happened is not okay.
“This should have never happened to my son or any other kid, and they need to be held accountable,” he said.
The attorney representing the family asks parents in the Wilkes County community to ask their children to erase any video or pictures they may have of the assault.
Sellers said he expects to file the lawsuit by Sunday, Aug. 1.
Miller’s son is in counseling. He did not return to class at Wilkes Central High School and his father says he never will.