Dallas, Texas: In a shocking incident, a video of an Indian-American boy being bullied and assaulted by a white student at a school in the United States has flared widespread fury on social media. The video which has been shot by classmates of Shaan Pritmani, an Indian-American, shows Shaan being bullied by a white student who chokes him and drags him out from the bench where he was seen sitting. The incident took place on May 11 and is reported to be from Coppell Middle School of Dallas in Texas.
Later, Shaan’s parents were contacted by the school and informed that their son had been involved in an altercation with another student. The school allegedly found Shaan to be at fault. He received a 3-day in-school suspension as punishment, while the aggressor only received one day.
When his parents requested a reassessment using the viral video as evidence, the school said that there will be no changes made. The School Resource Officer refused to file a citation because the school administration allegedly asked that the incident not be documented as there have already been many bullying complaints.
Sonika Kukreja, Shaan’s mother, started a petition on Change.org to spread awareness and to call on the school to take more action against her son’s aggressor. The petition has since gathered nearly 244,000 signatures, as of this writing. It will become one of the top petitions on Change.org if it reaches 300,000 signatures. “Due to lack of support from the Coppell ISD and Coppell PD to correctly handle this assault, we are demanding that the aggressor be removed from my son’s school immediately,” Kukreja wrote.
Shaan’s parents have reportedly sought legal representation while awaiting the conclusion of the school’s internal investigation. “Coppell ISD is aware of a video circulating on social media showing an incident at Coppell Middle School North involving a physical altercation between two students,” Coppell School Superintendent Dr. Brad Hunt wrote in an email.
The North American Association of Indian Students (NAAISORG) shared the video on their official Twitter handle and said, ”Disturbing footage of Shaan Pritmani, a middle school student, being assaulted and choked for over four minutes by a white student. The incident took place in a suburb of Dallas, Coppell Middle School. Shaan received three days of suspension while the assaulter received one day.”
In the video, a white student approaches Shaan Pritmani who is sitting on a bench, and demands that he stand up. “No, I’m not getting up. There is literally no one sitting here,” Shaan could be heard saying in the video. When Shaan refuses to give up his seat, the white student gets angry and starts choking him as he wraps his arm around Shaan’s neck. He also attacks Pritmani with his elbow before choking him and pushing him against his seat.