An 11-year-old victim of schoolyard bullying is fighting for his life while in a medically-induced coma, following a violent attack.
ABC Affiliate WPVI-TV details that 6th grader Bailey O'Neill got into a fight at Darby Township School in Pennsylvania. Four weeks ago, he was hit in the face and knocked down by bullies, having his nose fractured and suffering a concussion.
His parents took him to a clinic, but he wasn't acting as himself after being released. It wasn't until a few days after the incident that he started seizing, prompting doctors at local A.I. DuPont Hospital for Children to put him in a coma.
“He was sleeping. He was moody. He wasn’t himself. He was angry a little bit. He wasn’t really eating,” Bailey’s father Rob O'Neill describes.
Southeast Delco School District Superintendent Stephen Butz has released a statement expressing the district's commitment to being thorough in analyzing the case and cooperating with local police. Bailey was an honor student and participated in athletic activities.
“We take bullying seriously. [...] We are very concerned about the medical condition of the student and our thoughts and prayers are with the family and student,” he says.
While no comments were made about the punishment received by the attacker, O'Neill claims he has only received a 2-day suspension.
“Every day I’m trying to stay strong for him. [...] When you get into that hospital room and you’re looking at him, I would trade places in a heartbeat. It’s my buddy, you know,” Mr. O'Neill says.
He warns other parents to be weary of signs of bullying, as children often choose not to discuss the issue with their parents.
“Keep an eye out for it, it's something that's very serious. Sometimes kids are afraid to tell their parents that they're being bullied because of the embarrassment,” he adds.