A video that was widely circulated on social media earlier this month that depicted a violent assault at Crockett Middle School in Odessa was quickly dismissed at the time by school officials and reports as not being an actual fight, or that the fight was staged, and that the student “was fine,” – despite being seen appearing both unresponsive in the video and going into a seizure after sustaining multiple blows to the head during the assault.
Now, the father of the victim is speaking out, airing multiple grievances with the way school officials handled the issue and slammed reports that downplayed the severity of the assault.
In an interview this week with Odessa resident William Brown, Brown told Odessa Headlines he is the father of the student who was assaulted and wanted to tell his side of the story regarding what happened.
“When I went into the office to pick him up that day, they told me oh it wasn’t that big of a deal, or you know his nose was bleeding and they don’t think anything major happened. The officer even sat him (his son) down and recorded him and convinced him to say that he was crying hard,” Brown said.
When asked what his response was to reports that claimed the fight didn’t occur or was staged, Brown responded saying “Obviously, you don’t preplan a fight and then turn around and try to go to the bus…He was hit on the head, bleeding on the ground going into a seizure. I don’t even see where a sane person could think that (it being staged) would be a possibility.”
Brown said at no point did any of the school officials tell him that they believed the fight was staged, and it was only after he picked his son up that he saw the video and discovered how bad the incident was, which Brown described as a “vicious attack from behind” and that his son has suffered from a seizure while lying on the ground.
When Brown spoke with the school nurse, who did check his son out, he said that she was apologetic and seemed shaken over the incident herself and recommended that he take his son to see a doctor but otherwise said that she believed he was ok.
Brown also added that as far as he knows, no one ever called for an ambulance, which causes him to question school protocols on handling injuries, and that the only communication he had from the school after the incident was that a principal called to ask him whether he was going to press criminal charges.
Brown said he has formally pressed criminal charges with ECISD police due to the severity of the assault.
“They shouldn’t be scared to tell a parent when something really bad happens to the kid because then you don’t take him to the hospital. What if he would have died later that day?” Brown said.
Brown did take his son to see a doctor, who told them he sustained a broken nose, among other injuries.
In addition, he said he is trying to ensure his son gets the counseling and other medical attention he needs, but the assault came at a time of financial hardship for the family, and so they are trying to raise funds to take care of mounting bills.
“So, I did start a go fund me. And we do have an event this weekend trying to raise money for the debt that has incurred in the debt and that the bills will incur trying to get him some help.”
Brown said he has had an outpouring of support and messages from people who have seen the videos and told them that they are lifting his family in prayer and well wishes and that he is thankful for the support.
He also said that while he is trying to raise funds to take care of the costs he has incurred due to the assault on his son, he also believes the district needs to implement changes in their policy on school fights to prevent things like this from happening.
“It’s about raising awareness about bullying too, because I don’t want this to happen to other kids, and I want something to change. You know, I’m not just wanting to help my kid out.”
A fundraiser to support Brown’s son is being held Saturday morning, May 14 in Odessa.
In addition, those who are interested in helping Brown may find a link to his Go Fund Me account here.
Odessa Headlines will continue to monitor this story.