Pittsburgh student, 12, violently attacked by older boy in school

Published On: Sep 19 2013 07:31:56 AM HST   Updated On: Sep 19 2013 07:33:12 AM HST

A student at the Pressley Ridge school on the North Side has a slash mark from the middle of his cheek to his neck after being attacked by another student.

Shannon Grant was rushed to Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC after the violent incident at lunchtime Wednesday. His mother said the 12-year-old boy is afraid to go back to school.

"My child has over 50 stitches in his face right now, could possibly live with that scar for the rest of his life, and he plays football and he's not even allowed to play the sport that he enjoys the most," said the victim's mother, Sheheda Manley.

Grant said he was throwing his food away after eating lunch when he saw a 17-year-old student and said hello. He said the teen cursed and hit him in the face with a plastic plate before beginning to beat him.

"I said what's up, hi, to the boy, and he said, 'Don't (expletive) talk to me,' and he picked up the plate and tried to hit me with it," Grant said. "I started running, and I fell, and he hopped up on me and stated punching me in my face, and I kept on bleeding."

Manley said she believes the older student has behavioral problems, and she wants to know why he was in the same lunch period as her son.

"I don't understand why or how this took place when there was a million staff around, and my child was beat almost to death for nothing," Manley said. "School is supposed to be his safe haven when he's not at home, and I feel they didn't do their job today."

Pittsburgh police said they plan to charge the 17-year-old student with aggravated assault, possibly as an adult. Manley said police told her that the suspect's mother was going to turn him in to them.

Fourteen students and seven staff members were in the school cafeteria at the time of Wednesday's incident, according to Kelley Reed, a corporate spokeswoman for Pressley Ridge. She also sent the following statement by email:

"Pressley Ridge's primary focus is to help children who face serious emotional and behavioral challenges. We are dedicated to protecting the safety, health and well-being of our children and families and the community. We, at Pressley Ridge, take situations of this nature very seriously and are deeply concerned for the welfare of all of our students at all times. Pressley Ridge is working closely with the family and Pittsburgh City Police to investigate the incident fully and determine the facts. If there are any further questions regarding this incident, individuals should contact the Pittsburgh City Police Department."