George County teen returns to school after attack - - The News for South Mississippi

George County teen returns to school after attack


Fourteen-year-old Austin Stokes was back in school Thursday. He's the George County High student with Cerebral Palsy who was attacked at school a week ago.  Austin said the student who hit him referred to him as a retard. 

A lot of people in George County said  they think Austin's return shows a lot of courage.  

When the high school freshman walked back in to George County High Thursday, his mom said all she could do is cry.  

"He was nervous; he was excited. I was more nervous. I felt like bringing him the very first day, a lot of tears," said Austin's mom, Lori Dees. 

As Austin heals, his mom is now praying that he can cope at school again. 

"The superintendent did actually speak with me last Friday. She just reassured me they were doing everything by the book and there was really nothing she could tell me at that time." 

Many in the George County community are standing behind Austin and his family during this tough time. 

"Absolutely, he didn't deserve what happened to him," resident C. J. Rouse said. 

"I just cried and cried to think of what the mother of that child that's handicapped went through. If it was mine, I couldn't imagine what I would do," resident Shay Fleming said. 

Parent Trisha Havens echoed those sentiments.  

"I am glad that Austin has the courage to go to school, because it is scary for a child. I think the community and the school are going to come behind him and encourage him to feel better and not be scared," Havens said. 

Austin's mom and these community members hope what happened to Austin will shine a light on bullying and finally put a stop to it.

"I don't think any child should have to feel that way. Maybe them seeing Austin go through what he went through, maybe it will encourage other students," Havens said. 

Austin's mom is still considering pressing charges against the student she said attacked her son. She also plans to go around to schools and colleges and talk with kids about the negative effects of bullying.  

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