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Family of hospitalized student says it wasn’t his first time attacked

By Andy Sheehan

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    PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — After being thrown to the ground and having had his head stomped on by another student, the family says the 17-year-old victim is out of the hospital but still suffering from headaches, memory loss and more.

“Nightmares, waking up in not really knowing where he is,” said the boy’s cousin, Eric Pettus. “Screaming in his sleep. Just having some major issues that are not normal.”

Pettus said last week’s brutal attack at Brashear High School could have been avoided had the school properly interceded in three prior attacks by the very same student, 18-year-old Quincey Garland, who’s now charged with aggravated assault.

Two attacks in September, and another one in a school bathroom in December, where the victim was seen on cellphone video being kicked and repeatedly punched, his head stuffed in a urinal and then a commode.

Pettus said his cousin was attacked by Garland in each incident. He said Brashear High School Principal Kimberly Safran suspended both students each time, assuming both were quote “mutual combatants.”

“At some point, the principal indicated that her feeling was that this (was) some sort of gang-related incident that was between mutual combatants,” Pettus said. “That is completely, categorically, patently false. The simple Band-aid in this situation was simply to suspend everyone. So now you have the innocent party who now has three suspensions in their record when they were being attacked.”

Pettus said the 17-year-old’s mother had been told there were plans to move the other student to Clayton, the school for students with disciplinary problems. But when school resumed, the student remained, the district telling her the paperwork hadn’t gone through.

“However, it appears that that paperwork was never submitted in the first place, and there was never an intention the student be transferred to that alternative place,” Pettus claimed.

Pettus added that the mother returned the student to school when the district informed her there was a “safety protocol” in place to protect her son, but that day he was beaten to an inch of his life.

The district won’t comment on any of this, pending its own investigation, but has put Safran on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation, but the family wants more action.

“I believe the principal should be fired,” Pettus said. “Suspension is not good enough in this case.”

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