ELK GROVE — A 15-year-old Elk Grove high school student will be monitored under concussion protocol after police said he was attacked by a classmate with a fire extinguisher.
Kawame Curry Sr. told CBS13 that his son, Kawame "KJ" Curry Jr., is being monitored "minute-by-minute" after a doctor said brain injuries can manifest over time.
Curry said he is still in disbelief that his son was attacked over what he said was a pair of shoes.
"The guy was trying to get my son for his shoes, his Jordan's, my son confronted him and checked him about this," said Curry.
The confrontation earlier in the day, before the alleged attack, was the end of it, KJ believed. The two students went to P.E. together, and there was no issue until lunchtime.
"He took a fire extinguisher, concealed it in his bag, then had one of his friends recording the whole time, one of the kids was like 'I know where KJ is at' … they proceeded to go where he was at," Curry said.
The attack was filmed and posted to social media, where Curry said he learned the severity of what happened.
In the video, the suspect pulls a fire extinguisher out of a backpack and hits KJ with it once. When he falls to the ground, the suspect hits him again, and he is later on kicked by another student.
"This is not a simple assault to me, period. If you've seen the video and everything, this is premeditated. This is premeditated, period." said Curry.
A full statement from the Elk Grove Unified School District spokesperson outlines the services available to students over the next few days:
"Yesterday's incident at Monterey Trail High School is very concerning, and we are working closely with law enforcement on a full investigation. We have supports in place for students and staff, such as an increased presence of law enforcement on the campus for the next few days."
"Our crisis response team is in action at the school today to address the academic, social/emotional, and behavioral needs of students. Support resources can be provided for parents and staff should they need them as well. The gravity of the situation is significant, and our top priority is returning MTHS to its typical balance of safety, a welcoming environment, and a high-quality learning experience for all students."
Curry told CBS13 that he believed the school should have done more to protect his son.
"You got over 2,000 kids at your school. Kids are supposed to be the future. What are you doing to protect these kids and their future? Period. What are you doing to protect them?" said Curry.
"The long-term stress of the pandemic, and everything that comes with it, social isolation, less opportunities to do what they want, has really caused people to be in a fight or flight response, all the time." said Dr. Judy Ho, a Clinical and Forensic Neuro Psychologist.
The Co-Founder and Director of Programs for the Educator's School Safety Network, a nonprofit focused on training educators, told CBS13 sometimes training for educators does not include the incidents they may see most often.
"The problem comes when we only focus on active shooter response, we actually make our schools less safe," said Dr. Amy Klinger, the Director of Programs for Educator's School Safety Network.
Klinger said it is more common to have medical emergencies and violent incidents that do not involve a gun, but may still put student's at-risk. Therefore, training is required for different situations.
CBS13 asked Elk Grove Unified School District spokesperson Xanthi Soriano about specific training educators on the Monterey Trail High School may have that could have prepared them for the Wednesday incident.
Educators within EGUSD follow the California Education Code on the intervention of physical fights, according to the spokesperson. Once an investigation is complete more information about the response and situation will be shared.
"As such, given the situation that occurred, site administration immediately contacted EGUSD Safety and Security SROs, campus supervisors, and administrative staff to respond to the assault and called emergency crews to respond to the injured student," said Soriano in an email to CBS13.
Soriano told CBS13 in a follow-up email that the incident was a "very serious situation" and as such, the school has "trained safety and security teams monitoring areas where/when there is a large concentration of students, and those teams communicate directly with site administration who can also call for immediate safety and security supports."
Curry said he is uncertain if his son will return to Monterey Trail High School and that, as a parent, he does not feel safe sending his son to school.
for more features.