- The student, identified as Shaan Pritmani, and his aggressor are students at Coppell Independent School District.
A video of an Indian American student being bullied by a White classmate on May 11 in Texas has gone viral, sparking anger and criticism on social media. The video shot and shared by classmates from Coppell Independent School District (Coppell ISD) shows two students being involved in a physical altercation after a brief audio exchange. A change.org petition is also being circulated to demand action from the school and bring awareness about bullying.
The video shows an unidentified student approaching the Indian American student, identified in a change.org petition as Shaan Pritmani, who is seated on his bench when the bully appears and asks him to get out. Pritmani refuses to move, and the bully can be seen trying to unseat him with a hand on his shoulder.
When Pritmani refuses again, his aggressor tries to intimidate him by trying to strangulate him. Pritmani refuses to budge, and grabs the bully’s hand, and throws it away. This infuriates the bully and he presses Pritmani’s neck from behind with his elbow and pushes him against his seat.
Following the viral clip, Tracy Fisher, candidate for TX SBOE from District 14, shared an official statement by Coppell ISD that “bullying, both verbal and physical, as well as physical acts of aggression are never acceptable and do not align with who we are at CISD and our core values.” In another tweet, she wrote: “What we can say is that this incident is being investigated and addressed by the school and the district according to the CISD Student Code of Conduct. We have policies and procedures in place that we are following.”
However, according to the petition started by Pritmani’s mother Sonika Kukreja, her son is being punished by the school for the bullying. She says the school called them and informed them that their son had been in an altercation with another student. “The school stated that Pritmani was at fault and received a 3-day ISS, while the aggressor only received a 1-day ISS,” the petition says.
When Pritmani’s classmates shared the video of the assault with them, informing them that their son is not at fault, they reached out to school authorities, “shared the evidence and requested a reassessment,” the petition says. In response, the school told them that while they had seen the video, “there will be no change in the course of action,” the petition says. “The Coppell ISD SRO officer refused to file a citation because school administration asked it not be written, as there have been too many bullying complaints lately,” the petition added.
Kukreka notes in the petition that her son’s aggressor in the video “is on the wrestling team and can be seen carrying out a very dangerous carotid restraint on Shaan’s neck.” Noting that “this technique restricts blood flow to a person’s brain by compressing the sides of the neck where the carotid arteries are located,” she says her son “appears to briefly lose consciousness at the end of the neck choke maneuver.”
She continues: “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,.” She stresses that her son “should never have to take a class, interact, or pass the hallways with this aggressor ever again.” And that he “should be able to continue his school experience, friendships and extra-curricular activities with zero worry of ever having to cross paths with this student again. He does not feel safe.”