A high school student in Georgia was brutally beaten in an "unprovoked" attack during a basketball game while other students stood by laughing, according to the victim’s parents.
"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 Brooke-Cox told Fox 5 of her son's attack.
Nick Cox was attacked at a recreation center in July in Sugar Hill when he was 16, and was left with a broken jaw, a severe concussion, and whiplash.
"He has a broken jaw in three places," Allyssa Brooke-Cox said. "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."
On his 17th birthday, Cox was being fed liquids through a syringe and might need to undergo additional reconstructive surgeries.
"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 Brooke-Cox explained.
One of the boys in the attack was arrested by police in Gwinnett County, but additional details on the boy were not released as he is a minor.
"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 parents said.
Now, the parents want the boys behind the attack to be reprimanded by school district officials, even though the attack happened off of school property.
"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 Brooke-Cox said.
"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 Cox said.
The parents have also created a petition urging the Education Department to create a code of conduct that would allow students to be reprimanded for violations that occur outside of school property. A GoFundMe page was also established to help the family pay for Nick Cox’s medical expenses.