Special needs high school student beaten

Tuesday, October 12th 2004, 10:41 am
By: News On 6

The family of a special needs student at the Tulsa School of Science and Technology is speaking out, after he was beaten in the hallway at school. 16 year old Juwon Matthews says another teen started taunting him during lunch last Wednesday. Then, according to Juwon's family, he was shoved to the floor and repeatedly kicked in the face as he lay unconscious.

The swelling has gone down but with stitches, missing teeth, and a bloodshot eye, Juwon Matthews is still full of fear. His mother... full of anger and disbelief. "Why would someone do this to Juwon when he's never bothered anybody, he's never caused any trouble."

The News on 6's Heather Lewin reports family members say it took several minutes for school officials to reach Juwon. When they asked to see a security videotape of the incident, they learned the camera that was supposed to monitor that hallway was instead pointed at the floor.

A Tulsa Schools spokesperson says the camera had been tampered with by students, but they had no idea when that occured. Juwon's mother says if the camera had been working the assault would've been stopped. "That camera's the only way for them to watch those kids with so many kids at that school."

Matthews says her son has a learning disability and with difficulty speaking; he keeps to himself at school. "They target him, I think, for that reason, because he's quiet and just off to himself all the time."

She's kept Juwon home since the beating, and doesn't know how she can send him back.
The student accused in the incident is under a long-term suspension. TPS officials wouldn't comment any further, saying it's now a police matter. Police say the student could face assault charges.