Police investigate after 7th grader beaten up at Philadelphia school; attack caught on video

"My head hit the wall, they were pulling my legs, kicking, stomping," the student said.

Maggie Kent Image
Thursday, May 4, 2023
Police investigate after 7th grader beaten up in Philadelphia school; attack caught on video
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Police investigate after 7th grader beaten up in Philadelphia school; attack caught on video

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Philadelphia police are investigating after a video of six students beating up a seventh grader was posted online.

"My head hit the wall, they were pulling my legs, kicking, stomping," recalled seventh grader Sariah Hayward.

Hayward says she was assaulted by her classmates at the Morton McMichael School in the Mantua neighborhood of the city on Tuesday.

Cellphone video posted online of the incident is at the center of the police's investigation.

Investigators are looking into a simple assault by six children, which include four girls and two boys, all either 13 or 14 years old.

"They were just yelling and stomping, and I was like, 'This isn't going to stop,'" said Hayward.

The assault left Hayward with a concussion. Her mother, Nabriya, is left wondering where the adults were.

"You can actually see a teacher in the video just standing there. She's not doing anything at all while my daughter is being attacked," said Nabriya Hayward.

Sariah Hayward says her school laptop was stolen by a classmate. While it was missing, inappropriate messages were sent from her account to teachers and other students.

This led to a misunderstanding, and later a beating, officials say.

The Philadelphia School District released a statement saying in part, "We have been made aware of a video surfacing involving an incident between students that allegedly occurred at Morton McMichael School. The behavior depicted in the video is totally unacceptable."

Sariah Hayward's mother says what's unacceptable is the lack of long-term consequences.

"She was attacked and she has to stay home, and they get to continue to go about their education. That's not fair at all," said Nabriya Hayward.

The school district wouldn't comment on what disciplinary actions were taken, if any.

Nabriya Hayward says her daughter won't be returning to school, and she's in search of new options for her daughter's education.