After reportedly setting her classmate’s hair on fire, a Virginia teen is facing charges. The 13-year-old victim is presently being treated for burns at a local hospital, and his mother claims he is “mentally shattered.”
The incident occurred during class on Wednesday, Jan. 12 at Richmond’s John Rolfe Middle School, according to WWBT. The girl set fire to the other child’s hair, resulting in second and third-degree burns.
After a school supervisor called her on her son’s phone to report the attack, the mother, who wishes to remain anonymous to preserve her son’s privacy, was informed about the occurrence. “All I could hear the teacher say over the phone was something is wrong with my boy,” she told WWBT.
She was told that the boy was being cared for by a school resource officer until experts came and could take over. At 12:30 p.m., police and firefighters arrived at the school and determined that the boy’s burn injuries were not life-threatening.
The son’s math class, according to the mother, was at lunch. Due to COVID-19 protocol restrictions, the students had to eat their meals in the classroom. A female classmate followed the young man and pulled out a lighter as he proceeded to dispose of his lunch tray.
The mother told the channel, “That’s when the girl kind of flicked the lighter and lit his hair on fire.”
When the mother arrived, she noticed that her son’s shoulder-length hair had been burned to the scalp. Burns traced the side of her son’s head and covered one of his ears. She also noticed that his neck was damaged and burned from burns.
The mother recalled, “He was agitated; he looked afraid.” “Emotionally and mentally, his pride is shattered.”
According to the mother, the school originally refused to seek criminal charges against the pupil. She was, nonetheless, adamant about getting some sort of justice for her child.
“What would you be like if this was your child? Would you be enraged, devastated, or how would you feel?” She asked WWBT, “Would you feel supported by Henrico County Schools?”
The girl was charged with illegal wounding by the Henrico Fire Marshal’s Office on Thursday, Jan. 13.
Other county agencies are cooperating to investigate the assault, according to the Henrico Citizen. While the marshal’s office is leading the charge, Henrico Police, Henrico Fire, and Henrico Schools, as well as the Henrico Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office, are assisting.
The school’s principal, Debbie George, issued a statement to parents via an automated phone line about the incident.
“This is Ms. George, principal of John Rolfe Middle School,” the message read. I’m calling to inform you about an event that occurred today in your child’s science class. A student got burned while playing with a lighter by a classmate. The student who was injured was taken to the hospital and is being treated. We’re investigating the event at school to make sure it doesn’t happen again, and we’ll take appropriate disciplinary action if necessary. “Thank you very much.”
That, according to the victim’s mother, is not enough. The school, in her perspective, is making light of the horrible situation that her child has gone through while under their supervision.
“You can’t just brush something under the rug and expect it to go away on its own; it won’t.” My son has been seriously injured, and he is suffering, and that isn’t fair to me or to him, therefore y’all need to be held accountable,” she said.