The family of a Scots schoolboy allegedly lured into a field and ‘beaten like a dog’ by a gang of bullies have said they fear a child will die in Scotland before action is taken to tackle shocking incidents of youth violence.
The 13-year-old boy was reportedly attacked by a group of teens in Fort William in the Highlands on Thursday night, while a number of others filmed the sickening scene on their phones. The disturbing footage, which was circulated online afterwards, shows the boy lying on the grass while he is kicked and beaten on the head and body multiple times.
Other boys in the clip can be heard shouting and laughing at the violence as it unfolds.
The victim’s uncle, who has asked to remain anonymous over fears his nephew will be targeted again, believes that police action is not enough to prevent another incident from taking place and said he believes a child may die before the widespread issue of youth violence is stamped out in Scotland.
The 46-year-old told the Record: “My nephew was beaten like a dog and it will not be long before a child is killed. So what will it take before someone steps in to stop this violence among kids right now. Will it be when a kid hits the ground and dies? Or when a child takes their own life?
“There has to be tougher consequences for kids and that has to start within schools, by introducing tougher punishments.
“The police can only do so much and their hands are tied with the problem. Does someone actually have to lose a child before something serious is done about this?”
The family claim the boy, who is a pupil at Lochaber High in the town, has been bullied at school for months. They say he has been taunted and had food thrown at him, but despite reporting the issue to teachers, the claim the school has failed to take adequate action.
His uncle added: “The kids are running riot because they know there is no discipline. My sister, his mum, has raised the matter with staff but nothing happened.”
The boy’s mother, who also wishes to remain anonymous, added: ” When I reported my concerns to the school, they just told the kids to stay away from each other. That doesn’t resolve things.
“Kids are not behaving like kids anymore. This level of violence is extreme.”
The family say their boy has been left “black and blue” following Thursday’s alleged attack and is now refusing to leave home or return to school.
His loved ones have now been left with serious concerns for his wellbeing after he told his big brother he “can’t take it anymore”.
His uncle continued: “He has become withdrawn and isn’t speaking much. To hear him tell his brother he can’t take anymore is not normal for a child of 13.”
Officers investigating the alleged attack confirmed two teenage boys, aged 13 and 14, will be reported to the youth justice authorities.
In December, we reported that the mum of a teen girl who was viciously kicked in the head by a gang of youths has slammed Lochaber High for failing to notify her about the incident.
The schoolgirl, 15, who had been trying to stop the gang from battering her pal, was left needing brain scans following the violent attack just yards from the entrance at the school.
In October, the Daily Record also told how an autistic schoolgirl was lured into a skatepark in Glasgow and beaten unconscious in an attack that left her hospitalised for two days. Three months on, Abbie Jarvis, now 13, has still not been able to return to class.
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Her story prompted the mother of Elle Houston to speak out against youth violence after the 14-year-old had her kneecap smashed in a beating which took place outside her home in Glasgow. And only last month, after numerous clips of beatings and assaults were sent to the Record, we investigated the sickening trend of violent online videos sweeping through Scotland.
Highlands and Islands Labour MSP Rhoda Grant said: “Bullying in any situation is unacceptable. Pupils should feel safe when they go to school and as they travel to and from school. The violent acts of a few are discouraging others from attending school, that is heartbreaking and has implications for their future.
“This incident is not the first incident that has circulated on social media in Fort William and the school must tackle this urgently, bullying has lifelong consequences affecting pupils physical and mental health.”
A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “We were made aware of an assault involving a group of youths at Carn Dearg Road in Fort William shortly after 11pm on Thursday, January 19. Inquiries were carried out and two male youths, aged 14 and 13, will be reported to the youth justice authorities.”
A spokesperson for Highland Council, which runs Lochaber High School said: “All of our schools takes any complaints about bullying very seriously and follow national policy on dealing with incidents to ensure each school has a safe and supportive learning environment for everyone.”
View the petition to address Scotland’s culture of youth violence here.
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