Family of beaten South Elgin seventh-grader seeks information on attack

  • Henry Sembdner of South Elgin, a seventh-grader at Kenyon Woods Middle School, was beaten two weeks ago in school. His family is asking the district to hand over all records of the attack, and any psychological records of the other student who was involved.

    Henry Sembdner of South Elgin, a seventh-grader at Kenyon Woods Middle School, was beaten two weeks ago in school. His family is asking the district to hand over all records of the attack, and any psychological records of the other student who was involved. Courtesy of Scott Johnson

 
 
Updated 2/21/2017 11:59 AM

The family of a South Elgin seventh-grader beaten at school two weeks ago is asking the district to preserve and hand over all records of the attack and any psychological records of the other student who was involved.

Henry Sembdner, a student at Kenyon Woods Middle School in South Elgin, was attacked Feb. 3 by a fellow student believed to be an eighth-grader. The 12-year-old Henry was released last week from Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge after spending much of the weekend in an induced coma recovering from brain and skull injuries suffered when he was severely beaten, according to family members and district officials.

 

The petition, filed Feb. 9 in Kane County Circuit Court, describes the attack in which the other student picked up Henry and "immobilized him in such a manner that he could not escape or otherwise attempt to defend himself."

The student gained physical control of Henry, threw him to the ground headfirst and struck him in the face and head, per court documents.

The Sembdner family is seeking disclosure of electronically stored information, documents, records, memos, video, photos and items related to the attack and the attacker. The petition suggests the attack occurred in an area without security cameras.

Among the concerns highlighted in the petition is school officials did not call 911 soon enough and did so only after noticing Henry's eye swell and that he was nauseous, according to court documents.

Elgin Area School District U-46 CEO Tony Sanders would not comment on the petition Wednesday.

"We are reviewing the petitioner's counsel's request for information," said U-46 spokeswoman Mary Fergus, who added the family did not seek any of this information through a Freedom of Information Act request.

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The parties are expected to appear at 9 a.m. May 26 for a conference with Judge Thomas Stanfa in courtroom 250 of the Kane County courthouse.

Authorities have said Henry had bumped into the other student in a crowded hallway before the attack. No charges have been filed against that student, who initially was detained by South Elgin police, but has since been released.

The student accused of attacking him has received counseling, district officials have said.

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