In a brief but disturbing video, a football player at Los Osos High School in Rancho Cucamonga begs for mercy and struggles to escape as a larger classmate whips him with a belt.
Now, the child’s parents are demanding action and accountability.
The hazing incident purportedly took place on Oct. 11 inside the boys’ locker room and involved several football players.
“One of the kids comes behind him and starts choke-holding him,” the victim’s mother, Cassandra, told KTLA’s Chip Yost on Friday. “My son is trying to get himself free and he’s yelling ‘Stop! Stop! No! Stop!’ and the other boy is whipping him with a belt.”
The video quickly circulated throughout the school. However, Cassandra, who didn’t want her last name shared, said she and her husband didn’t learn about it until nine days later.
Initially, Cassandra says her 16-year-old son got in trouble for the incident and was accused of “horseplay” along with the other players.
It wasn’t until days later that school administrators, she says, reversed course.
“I need those kids off the premises, and I need the school to make this a serious deal so that other kids … this won’t happen to them,” says Cassandra.
In a statement, the superintendent of the Chaffey Joint Union High School District insists they are taking the hazing incident seriously.
“We were deeply troubled when we became aware of the incident and began an immediate investigation,” said Superintendent Mathew Holton. “The district does not tolerate hazing or bullying of any kind and will always take appropriate corrective measures (including disciplinary action) when informed of such incidents.”
What those measures are, or will be, is still unclear.
Cassandra says her goal is to protect other students from suffering the same fate as her child.
“All these kids need a voice,” she says.