GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. - A 17-year-old high school student is brutally beaten during a basketball game. The teen’s parents said he was severely injured during what they call an ‘unprovoked attack.
Allyssa Brooke-Cox said the attack at a rec center in Sugar Hill left her son with a broken jaw, a severe concussion, and whiplash. Even though it happened off school grounds, she wants school district leaders to hold everyone involved accountable.
"It's taken a mental toll on him," James Cox said.
Nick Cox spent his 17th birthday being fed liquids through a syringe by his mother.
"He has a broken jaw in three places," Allyssa Brooke-Cox described her son's injuries. "It was a clean break on the right side and two breaks on the right. His jaw actually twisted into his mouth, so it broke through the skin."
Allyssa Brooke-Cox says the attack on her son, Nick, left him with a broken jaw, a severe concussion, and whiplash. Even though it happened off school grounds, she wants school district leaders to hold everyone involved accountable.
It was back in July when Cox said the then 16-year-old was severely injured during a violent attack at the E. Center.
The Cox family showed FOX 5 the video that was sent to them of the basketball court assault. Other students stood by laughing and recording on their cell phones.
"People actually applauded. I don't understand that. I can't even now understand it. I don't know where the disconnect is with seeing someone get hurt and finding joy and humor. I can't fathom that and it haunts me," Allyssa said.
The family said Nick has a long recovery ahead.
"When it first happened, he couldn't walk out of this living room to the kitchen by himself. He would get dizzy and nauseous so that's improved," Allyssa explained.
She said he may also need additional reconstructive surgeries. However, according to the family, the boys in this video are still going about their everyday activities.
"When he found out that the kids who did this to him were still able to go to school and play sports and live life as normal, that hit him pretty hard because his entire life has completely changed," James said.
The couple claims the other boys involved in this situation attend Buford High and Lanier High schools in Gwinnett County.
Remember, this attack happened off school grounds but the couple wants them disciplined.
"I felt like we got a lot of lip service. I would sit with someone and tell them this story and would show them the video and they would say 'oh that's terrible. We'll see what we can do' and would do nothing," Allyssa said.
Now, this family is fighting to get justice for their son and keep other families from this same heartbreak and burden.
"There need for accountability and the schools are failing," Allyssa said through tears.
They've created this petition urging the department of education to create a code of conduct where students could also be punished for violations that happen off-campus.
Gwinnett County police said they have arrested one of the boys involved but they won’t say what he's charged with.
"He's also being tried as a juvenile and it feels like a slap on the wrist, and he wasn't the only one involved," the couple mentioned.
FOX 5 News did reach out to both Gwinnett and Buford school districts who said they can't disclose disciplinary actions due to privacy laws.
There is now a fundraiser to help the Cox family with Nick's medical expenses.
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