SHOCKING footage has emerged online of a young schoolboy with learning difficulties being goaded into fighting a fellow student.
At one point in the sickening video the lad is heard to gasp that he can barely breathe, as he grapples on the ground with a fellow 12-year-old student from Edinburgh’s Leith Academy.
The horrified mum of the boy fears he could have been killed or seriously injured in a fight that was the culmination of a campaign of bullying against her son.
“It’s just sickening, I don’t know what the world is coming to,” said the 33-year-old from Leith. “You see this type of thing on Facebook but I never thought it would happen to my son.
“He was coaxed and enticed. All the others knew what they were doing but my boy is gullible. He could’ve been killed.”
Her battered and bruised son was sent home by worried teachers at Leith Academy after he was kicked in the head during the fight.
He was lulled to Leith Links at morning break time on Tuesday with promises of being accepted into a group of fellow students.
But when he got there, the confused 12-year-old was told he had to fight as a baying mob of older kids gathered around to watch.
“He’s on the receiving end,” said his worried mum. “He’s always getting picked on and called names. The group just got bigger and bigger.
“You hear him say he can’t breathe and there’s fourth years there, aged 14 and 15, and they just stand there - they could’ve intervened.”
A chromosome disorder and ADHD diagnosis, with an Asperger’s assessment pending, makes her son impulsive but well-meaning..
“He’s got learning difficulties which means he’s easily led. He’ll believe anything and they knew he’d turn up,” she said.
His mum said the fight followed bullying that began with name calling after he joined Leith Academy in August.
“He was the new kid in P4 and the name calling started. He gave as good as he got but he doesn’t deserve this. He’s not nearly as nasty as these kids.”
After watching the video, his tearful mum said: “I just held him and cuddled him.
“What hurts me is he would give someone his lunch if he saw someone with nothing. He’s got a heart of gold and parents are always contacting me about the nice things he’s done.”
Her son has been left anxious and nervous by his ordeal after the video was shared on instant messaging sites and social media including WhatsApp, Instagram and Snapchat.
“He’s still going to school and he’s still holding his head up but kids are still going up to him and calling him names.
“I just want the bullies to know how serious it is and to stop it. I want their parents to know too - some probably don’t even know yet,” said his mum.
Her son’s four-year-old brother has been affected by the fallout from his big brother’s bullying also.
A City of Edinburgh Council spokesperson said: “We are working closely with the families to try and help the young people involved make better choices.
“We will continue to do all we can to support all pupils at the school with their relationships and respect for themselves and others.”