Mother confronts school board after son beaten up at Polk County school

The mother of a 12-year-old boy who was beaten up in a locker room last week came to a Polk County school board meeting Tuesday to demand policy changes.

She is calling for action following her son's assault.

"You can say a lot of different things. But until we see the actual action, until we see people stepping up to make the policy changes, to really address the actual issues, I don't see much change," said Lauren Springfield, the boy's mother. "Our goal as parents is to keep our children safe. We're sending them to school to learn every day. So, if we can't create an environment where they are safe regardless of what else is going on, then we're missing out big."

Polk County Schools Superintendent Jacqueline Byrd apologized to the mother.

"I want to say personally to the victim and their parents, we apologize for what happened. This should not happen in schools," said Byrd.

The boy was repeatedly attacked by an older student at Blake Academy last week while other students stood by and recorded video.

"To hear those stories, to hear those things, it hurts. Nobody wants that to happen," said Billy Townsend, the Polk County school board member for District 1.

The boy's mom is calling for accountability for adults.

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"The fact that the teacher was in the locker room, heard the commotion going on and failed to come out and check on the students, I think that that is a paramount part of your job. I you are not protecting our students, then that is not the job for you," said Springfield.

She is also pushing for zero-tolerance for bullies.

"I think if you put your hands on someone in that type of assault that that means you are gone from that school because that is a protection for the victim," Springfield said.

While the boy's mother watches for change, school administrators are figuring out what to do.

"What I can tell you is that we are going to continue to investigate to make sure that we put systems in place so this does not happen to any other kid," said Byrd.

School administrators did not get into specifics about what changes they will make. Townsend suggested victim advocates for families and stressed the importance of developing relationships with families.

The student attacker was suspended for 10 days, and Lakeland police charged him with battery.