When Casey Heynes bodyslammed his bully onto concrete, he became the catalyst for an anti-bullying campaign. And as news outlets begin to give the incident some attention, he’ll more than likely become a media lightning rod.
What began as a viral video showing the 10th grader slamming the (much smaller) 7th grader to the ground has now turned into a legitimate news story.
And as more media outlets have begun covering the incident, new information has surfaced.
After the fight, it appeared the bully was seriously injured. After being smashed onto the concrete, he struggled to walk before the camera turned off. But, according to the school, “the only injury sustained was a grazed knee.”
Heynes and his antagonist have both been suspended for four days by Chifley College Dunheved’s Campus, a school in Sydney, Australia for students in grades 7 to 10. A spokeswoman for the school told the Daily Telegraph the school “does not tolerate any violence and deals with all cases according to its community-agreed discipline code.”
As Salon.com points out, the CCDC website describes the school as “a safe, supportive and productive learning environment to promote individual achievement and self-responsibility.”
But some students at the school see things differently. According to the Telegraph, students at the school said violence was a daily occurrence with fights often filmed and posted online.
“The fights I have seen here, it’s horrible. It really makes me feel unsafe,” one student told the Telegraph. ” A classmate added: “People pick on him every single day, they hit him around and stuff, and he just got sick of it and let out the anger.”
When the video first surfaced, it came with a blurb that “Casey the Punisher” was “this 16 year old kid has been tormented every single day of his short high school life …” Heynes’ father confirmed that his son had been tormented for years, and he feared for his safety if he spoke about the fight.
“There’ll be reprisals from other kids in the school and he still has to go to school somewhere,” he told the Telegraph. … “He’s not a violent kid, it’s the first time he’s lashed out and I don’t want him to be victimised over that.”
We will be sure to keep you posted on what happens to Casey, as this story is only going to grow bigger (especially once the cable news channels sink their teeth into it).