CLAREMONT, NC (WBTV) - Video of a high school student being sucker-punched in a high school cafeteria Thursday has gone viral after a concerned mother posted it online.
The video shows a boy eating in the cafeteria when another student walks up behind him and starts punching him in the head multiple times.
According to the woman who posted it on Facebook, the video was taken at Bunker Hill High School Thursday during lunch. The video was then texted to multiple students at the school.
While she asked for her name not to be used, the concerned mother said her daughter took the video to administrators and was told the situation would be handled and to delete the message. She sent it to her mother instead. Her mother posted the video on Facebook, concerned that the school was trying to sweep the situation under the rug.
**WARNING: Faces have been blurred in the video, but it may still be disturbing to some users**
Frederick Flewelling is the victim's legal guardian. WBTV is not using his name in an effort to protect his privacy.
"I made me furious. I mean, kids are vindictive," he said. "All I can assume is that he don't have a male role model in his life, the kid that hit him".
Flewelling says the 9th grader has only been attending Bunker Hill for a couple months. He says the 16-year-old recently moved in with him, his second cousin, after the teen's mother died a few months ago.
"He's real quiet and laid back. I just couldn't see why anyone would have any reason to do that," he said.
Flewelling tells WBTV he learned about the incident when his wife saw it on social media with everyone else.
"She seen it on Facebook before the school called her. Four hours after it happened," he said.
He says the encounter all stemmed from a bet.
"Some girl paid this kid 20 dollars to do this. I couldn't believe that these kids were collaborating like that. It's ridiculous," Flewelling said.
The woman who posted the video says after it started getting shared, the school's principal - Dr. Jeff Isenhour - called her and told her to delete the Facebook post.
Dr. Isenhour spoke to WBTV via phone Thursday night and addressed the situation.
He said the incident took place Thursday during lunch at the school. According to Dr. Isenhour, the school resource officer was in the cafeteria when the attack took place and actually witnessed it. He said the SRO then escorted the student out of the cafeteria.
"Actions have been taken against the student involved," Dr. Isenhour told WBTV, adding that the situation is still being investigated.
The video is also under investigation, according to Dr. Isenhour, to determine if any other students were involved.
He admits that he called the mother and asked her to remove the video from Facebook saying that he is attempting to protect the rights and the privacy of the students seen in the video.
"Someone posted images of students without their permission and I don't think that's appropriate," Dr. Isenhour said.
The mother honored his request and removed the video from Facebook - but it had already been shared hundreds of times.
The Catawba County sent out a statement about the incident Thursday evening.
"Catawba County Schools prohibits all forms of bullying, harassment, and physical assault and takes these matters seriously. Please be assured that this matter was addressed immediately," the statement read. "Both law enforcement and administration have been contacted and appropriate action will be taken by both law enforcement and administration."
For more resources to help students, teachers, and parents deal with bullying, visit stopbullying.gov.
According to the site, up to a third of students say they have been bullied. Experts recommend to stop bullying on the spot, intervene immediately and separate the children involved.