While playing dodgeball on the elementary school playground, a 10-year-old boy threw the ball at a classmate, getting him “out.” However, the boy’s mother was in disbelief when her son was subsequently suspended from school and charged with aggravated assault.
While engaging in a student-led game of dodgeball on the playground, 10-year-old Bryce Lindley intentionally threw the ball at a classmate, as is the purpose of the age-old tradition. Striking the boy in the head, Bryce proceeded to gloat as his intended target took the ball to the side of the head. Since the boy appeared to be fine, no one was alarmed by the juvenile display of rivalry. Hours later, however, the boys’ families were embroiled in a serious controversy.
For many parents, the education system has failed their children in one way or another. Whether it’s indoctrination, underfunding, or incompetent educators, many have expressed their faithlessness in public schools. While bullying has recently become a hot button issue, there is another side to the coin that is equally as dark and devastating.
According to WXYZ, Michigan resident, Cameishi Lindley was shocked to discover that her fifth-grade son Bryce Lindley was not only suspended for a day from school but also that he had been charged with aggravated assault or his actions during the playground dodgeball game. The mother received a call from Wayne County Juvenile Court informing her that 10-year-old Bryce was being held criminally responsible for injuries his classmate sustained.
The police report states, “All the players broke the circle, which according to [redacted] means the game is over, while they all went chasing after the loose ball. Lindley grabbed the ball and [redacted] stated, ‘He turned and chucked it at me.’ Lindley was not jumping up in the air, did it on purpose, threw it directly at [redacted] instead of up in the air, and struck [redacted] on the side of his face because [redacted] wasn’t looking. Afterward, [redacted] friend told him that Lindley said ‘That’s what he gets.'”
The police report states that the injured classmate, whose name has been withheld, has a medical condition that makes him susceptible to head injuries. As such, the child suffered serious damage to his face and head, which the victim’s mother, whose identity is also protected, believes warrants criminal charges for Bryce.
“He sustained facial issue damage to his face. He had a black eye and a bruised nose,” the other parent said. “This is a kid that was playing on the playground with his friends. I tried not to let it get to this point.”
Although the injured boy’s mother hasn’t commented on whether she made officials at Ruth Eriksson Elementary School aware of her son’s medical condition, she admitted that he has been injured before. She explained that her son had previously been hit with a ball on two separate occasions but didn’t elaborate on why she didn’t seek to press charges during those instances.
“My son was hit twice in the face with a ball previously due to this. The child apologized to my son and my son said ‘mom it’s okay we’re still going to be friends.'”
Understandably, Cameishi explained that she “couldn’t believe” that her young son was being held criminally liable for a medical condition of which they were unaware. She expressed confusion as to why the child was allowed to play such a physical game if he was prone to said injuries.
“These kids are basically playing a game we all have played,” Cameishi said. “I am unaware of any of those situations. I’m sorry that her child got hurt. I’d be sorry for any child that got hurt.”
Tears streamed down Bryce’s face as his mother was being interviewed, showcasing the disturbing outcome of involving children in the court process. However, the victim’s mother insists that Bryce’s alleged assault was the straw that broke the camel’s back.
Although Cameishi wishes the problem could’ve been handled in the classroom, adding that she agreed with her son being suspended for his behavior, she believes that charging a young child who never intended to injure anyone is going too far. For now, she has established a fundraiser to pay for Bryce’s legal fees, which she claims have already added up to around $4,000.
Disturbingly, the internet has added another layer to the case. After news of the charges broke, social media users accused the injured child’s mother of harboring a racist motive, although no evidence for this has been provided. In fact, the accusations seem to stem solely from the fact that the boy’s mother is white and Bryce is black.
Cameishi’s only hope for her son is that the juvenile court dismisses her son’s charge. However, the case is likely to set a precedent for the school, likely resulting in the banning of certain interactive physical activities.