Who’s Responsible: Video shows teen attacked near Kingsbury High School

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A disturbing video is surfacing, showing the moments when a Kingsbury High School student appears to be attacked by his peers near school property.

Martin Geissler said he was just minding his own business on Monday afternoon when he was jumped.

Geissler’s mom, Brenda Pope, alleges she had difficulty receiving help from the school due to the incident happening off campus.

Pope describes the location of the encounter as being very close to the school on a sidewalk between the school and an area youth ministry.

The video shows Geissler appearing to be walking alone.

Moments later, it shows several teens running up behind him, push him down to the ground; they then start kicking him in the head.

“Now my kid is scared to go to school, and he deserves an education just like any child out here does,” Pope said. “He hasn’t been back to school since Monday.”

Pope said her son is a special needs 12th-grade student at the school, and told FOX13, that the incident dampened his desire to return to class.

In an emotional exchange with FOX13, Geissler expressed his fears.

We asked him what was causing him to tear up when we interviewed him.

“Me being scared to go back to school,” he said.

The video shows Geissler walking ahead of the group, while the person recording is heard giving advance notice of what’s about to happen.

“I was scared. I was confused. I didn’t know what to do,” Geissler said. “They kicked my head. They stomped my head in and they was just kicking my body.”

Pope told FOX13 she visited the school the same day but alleges she was told that due to the incident occurring off campus, it wasn’t the school’s responsibility.

“They sent a security officer to the door. They did tell us once you hit the school sidewalk it’s not their problem,” Pope said. “FOX13 was notified.”

“They (MSCS) really wasn’t doing nothing, and then y’all went up there, and then they started calling me and wanting me to come up there and write a statement. I guess they’re trying to cover themselves. I’m not for sure,” she said.

FOX13 reached out to the Tennessee Department of Education to determine whether a school is relieved of responsibility when an incident happens off campus, which in this case, it’s only about 100 yards from the school.

TDOE pointed me to the Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 49, Chapter 6, Part 45, which defines bullying two-fold, as follows:

(A) If the act takes place on school grounds, at any school-sponsored activity, on school-provided equipment or transportation or at any official school bus stop, the act has the effect of:

(i)  Physically harming a student or damaging a student’s property;

(ii) Knowingly placing a student or students in reasonable fear of physical harm

to the student or damage to the student’s property;

(iii) Causing emotional distress to a student or students; or

(iv) Creating a hostile educational environment; or

(B) If the act takes place off school property or outside of a school-sponsored activity, it is directed specifically at a student or students and has the effect of creating a hostile educational environment or otherwise creating a substantial disruption to the education environment or learning process.

MSCS also released the following statement on the matter:

It is unfortunate to hear about the distress of any child or family, and we take such matters seriously. MSCS Policy 6046 outlines how we respond to any reports of bullying, whether they are alleged to have happened on campus or off campus.  The student from Kingsbury was at Streets Ministries after school hours when the alleged incident occurred. That location and program are not affiliated with MSCS and are managed by an independent agency.

Because this alleged incident occurred off campus, the parent was given the option to also file a report with the Memphis Police Department in addition to our investigation. MSCS does not dismiss any claims of bullying that involve our students, regardless of when or where they may have happened. We always conduct a full investigation. Currently, there is an ongoing investigation into this matter, in accordance with our policy and Tennessee State law. We will continue to work with and support the families involved.

Geissler told our station he was not at Street Ministries, as stated by the district, but was walking past the location on his walk home from Kingsbury High.

Meanwhile, this is an ongoing investigation.

FOX13 has also learned that Pope filed a police report in the case.