New details are emerging about what led to the beating of a 15-year-old boy in a Nanaimo high school. Two senior students are facing assault charges and a third is being interviewed.
But now, the social media exchange before the attack has some saying the victim had it coming.
The family of the 15-year-old beating victim says he now being victimized all over again.
“It just infuriates me. It breaks my heart,” says the victim’s grandmother, Gail Pettinger.
Both because of how John Barsby Community School’s handling the attack in their hallways and that some people are siding with his attackers.
“Sides are being taken and (his attacker) is getting defended by all his friends I guess,” says the victim.
“He went to school for an hour yesterday afternoon and couldn’t take it. I don’t think he’ll be going back to that school,” says Pettinger.
The family says its been a living nightmare since the attack.
“I’ve felt sick to my stomach, it’s nothing that we need to see, it’s nothing that needs to be done to our grandchild for no reason at all,” says Pettinger.
RCMP say an exchange on social media appears to have triggered the whole thing.
“It was something so stupid that just got blown out of proportion,” says the victim.
It happened on Instagram. The victim engaged in a thread with one of the senior students being questioned in the attack, days before the assault. Calling him and his friends “goons” for wanting to beat up a fellow grade 9 student friend of his. Saying they had the wrong guy and that it was a case of mistaken identity, he says.
But that digital evidence has since been deleted, allegedly by one of the teens now being investigated by RCMP.
“Yeah it’s been deleted. I looked it up the cops wanted to see it and it was no longer there.”
“Yeah a 15-year-old boy figured he’d help his friend,” says the victim’s grandfather Gary Allercott.
“Whatever it was on social media did not to escalate to a boy being beaten down by three kids that are twice his size,” says Pettinger.
The school district and John Barsby Community School are both reviewing how this assault was handled, including what the family calls a complete lack of communication with them.
But this grandmother says the bullying at the school has been long standing, and she doesn’t only have this 15-year-old to worry about.
“Oh definitely we have four grandchildren in that school and they’ve all been bullied at one time or another,” says Pettinger.
So with just days to go in the school year this family will be counting the days to its end.