Family of 7th grader viciously beaten says school district is not cooperating with them

FOX 32 NEWS - The family of the South Elgin seventh grader who was brutally beaten in his school last week is now going to court.

They’re asking a Kane County Judge to preserve all the evidence in the case, and they say they're not getting much cooperation from the school district.

As 12-year-old Henry Sembdner continues to recover at home from the vicious beating at his school, lawyers hired by his family say they feel like they're getting stonewalled by the school district.

"We have attempted to try and unearth answers to our questions, being mindful of the fact there's an ongoing criminal investigation. Those answers have been slow in coming,” attorney Lance Northcutt said.

A week ago, the 7th grader at Kenyon Woods Middle School bumped into another student during a passing period who then grabbed henry and threw him to the ground head first.

The injury caused his brain to swell, which forced doctors to put henry into a medically induced coma.

"The very limited information that we have is that these two boys did not know each other. There is no indication this was a targeted attack. There's no indication there was any kind of animus between the boys before this happened,” Northcutt said.

Now, Henry's family has filed a motion in Kane County Court asking that district U-46 preserve and produce documents showing the disciplinary, academic and psychological history of the student who attacked Henry, and all records or surveillance videos relating to the case.

The family's attorneys also allege Henry sat in the nurse's office between a half hour and an hour before 911 was called, and that only happened after Henry's eyes started to bulge because of the brain swelling.

"This wasn't a slap or a punch in the hallway. I mean this child's face was caved in,” Northcutt said. "What was that lag time and what were they thinking that caused them to wait?"

Lawyers for the Sembner family say at this point they don't know whether they’re going to file a civil suit against the district. They say they simply want to know what happened and whether the attack could have been prevented.

FOX 32 reached out to a spokesperson for District U-46 for comment: "School District U-46 has been in discussion and written communications with the family's counsel since Thursday and will continue those discussions. We have responded to requests for information pursuant to the rules of civil law procedure. It's important to note the District already has policies in place to support our obligation as a government body to preserve records."

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