A Detroit teenager is in the Intensive Care Unit at a Detroit hospital after being attacked by as many as a dozen classmates at his charter school, in what authorities are saying is an attack over his expensive Nike shoes.
Willie Wallace, 16, who goes by “Tony,” was walking to his final class of the day at Detroit’s Allen Academy, a charter school, when he was brutally assaulted by several classmates, according to The Detroit Free Press. His mother, Sylvia Simmons, said the assault was the second altercation at the school involving Tony in a few weeks. In the first assault, she said, a group of classmates tried to steal Willie’s $130 Nike Air Force One shoes. Tony and his assailants were suspended. The second assault — the one that left him in the ICU — was “revenge” for Tony getting the boys suspended.
“He has a fractured skull, he has blood on his brain and he bit half of his tongue off. But he’s off the ventilator, thank God for that, and (Saturday) they’re going to do the first surgery on his jaw, so he can breathe properly and swallow properly.”
According to CBS Detroit, a teacher tried to break up the assault, but was unable to prevent the worst of the damage.
Allen Academy spokesperson Ivan Johnson said that the assault will be investigated.
“We are trying to get down to the bottom of the incident and what caused it and all of the surrounding circumstances.”
The school issued a statement remind the students of the academy’s “zero-tolerance” policy for violence.
“Because of this particular incident, we are heightening some measures of security at the school to try to circumvent any future activity of this nature. We enforce zero tolerance for this type of activity and altercations and violence. We really promote the safety of our students in trying to create an atmosphere and environment for learning for all of our students to become successful adults and citizens.”
As for Ms. Simmons, she says that her son will never again see the inside of a Detroit school, public or charter, after the shoe assault.
“He’s not going back there, never again. We’re doing either home-school or on-line schooling. They say Detroit public schools are bad, but these academies are worse.”
As of this post, at least one of the alleged assailants in the shoe assault is in policy custody.
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