Viral video of student beaten in Kent sparks outrage

KENT, Wash. -- A viral video of a student getting beaten in Kent is going viral and sparking outrage in the Kent community.

A beating outside Kentridge High School posted on Snapchat is concerning, students, parents and staff at the Kent School District.

In the video, a teen in a white sweatshirt walks behind another student, while someone is filming the incident. Suddenly the teen punches the student, knocking him to the ground and continuing to punch him. The teen getting beaten is heard yelling “ouch” several times.

The video was viewed by the Kent School District early Monday morning.

Chris Loftis with the Kent School District says he was disappointed when he saw the video and says violence is never tolerated at any school in Kent. He said he’s received calls from around the country from people who saw the video and were outraged. Loftis says the school district along with Kent Police are investigating.

“What that investigation found is that this wasn’t a racially motivated incident or religious harassment or bias. It was an extension of an argument they had in the classroom,” said Loftis.

He says the school district is taking this incident very seriously and the student involved will be disciplined appropriately.

“I’m not able to talk about the specific individual sanctions a student receives,” said Loftis, but said suspension would fit in with punishment.

Loftis says both students attend Kentridge High School and the beating happened off school grounds at the end of last week.

He says the Kent School District is one of the most diverse in the country serving more than 27,000 students who speak more than 150 languages.

Loftis says although the investigation revealed this beating was not racially or religiously motivated, he says the conversation has evolved to race and religion especially on social media and the district is working on ways to reach out to the community about tolerance among their diverse student body.

“We’re reaching out to community leaders and various religious organizations and groups on how we can talk about this in an effective way,” said Loftis.

He says the person who filmed the incident will also face appropriate punishment. Loftis wasn’t able to say when the investigation would be completed.

Q13 reached out the teenager’s family who was beaten, the mother of the teen says she was very distraught and her son was not doing well. She says they were very stressed out by this incident and did not want to talk about it on camera.