Rowland High School said it "does not tolerate bullying" on Thursday after a video of a special needs student being attacked on campus began circulating online.
The student who shot the video says it captured what happened outside the classroom. But Tai Croom says the "bullying," aimed at his friend seen wearing blue shorts in the video, had actually started inside.
"They all got in his face and were acting like they were going to beat him up," Croom told NBC4.
Croom and another friend Jacob Schaffer said the boy had been at his desk -- eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich -- minding his own business. But the girls would not leave him alone, and a teacher ended up being assaulted.
"She tried to prevent it and she ended up getting hit in the face," Schaffer said.
As they stepped outside, things escalated.
Schaffer said what you see on video is his friend -- whom he describes as a special needs students -- only reacting to what one of the girls had just done to him.
Get Los Angeles's latest local news on crime, entertainment, weather, schools, COVID, cost of living and more. Here's your go-to source for today's LA news.
He said that one of the girls threw a bottle at the boy's head. Within minutes, the boy was surrounded -- seemingly confused.
All around him, the girls can be see punching and kicking him. He struck back. He can be heard howling loudly during the altercation.
"He's really terrified," Schaffer said.
At one point, one of the girls can be seen throwing a binder at the boy, scattering books and papers all over the ground. He then walked over to Croom and can be heard sobbing.
"That's when he, like, put his head on my shoulder and I was hugging him," Croom said.
The Rowland Unified School District said the school "promptly" took disciplinary action, but did not elaborate on what that was.
"Rowland High School does not tolerate bullying and its presence on any school campus is unacceptable. As a school community we will continue to support for our students in a strong anti-bullying stance and address the importance of students involving themselves to stop these types of actions from occurring," the school district added.