NORFOLK, Va. (WVEC) — On her 15-minute break from work, Idalmys Ferro received a call from her son's cell phone. She answered, but this time it wasn't her 14-year-old son on the other end of the call.
"A little boy said 'Miss Mia,' your son has been injured badly, he can't walk, there's blood everywhere and we're at the school," Ferro said.
She quickly rushed to a park near Ruffner Academy where she found her son already in an ambulance. He had been attacked on his walk home from Ruffner Academy to the Young Terrace neighborhood.
His nose and other bones in his face were broken.
"I can't tell you how thankful I am that my boy is still here," Ferro said.
The Norfolk Police Department is investigating the incident. Ferro's son was released from the hospital and is now recovering at home.
"I just kept telling him I wish it could've been me, I wish they could've jumped me," Ferro said. "It is heartbreaking."
Ferro and other parents have now turned their attention to the safety of the walk home from Ruffner Academy. The 20-minute walk to Young Terrace requires children to cross major streets in Brambleton Avenue and Tidewater Drive. Plus, after the beating, parents said they're becoming increasingly worried about student safety.
There is no bus that picks up students at Young Terrace and drops them off at Ruffner Academy or vice versa. Norfolk Public Schools said the school board's 'non-transportation policy' includes not offering bus service for middle school students who live within 1.5 miles of the school. Young Terrace is about 1 mile away from Ruffner.
So, Ferro and other parents are calling on the school board to make an exception or change the rules. Ferro asked the school board members to walk the route themselves.
"If the head honchos came out here and did the walk themselves, would they allow their children to walk from here to there?" she asked.
Ferro said she doesn't think her son would've been jumped if he had been on a bus and believes the situation could get worse.
"I feel like something could happen that would be even more tragic," she said.
More than 1,300 people have signed a petition to add a school bus route from Young Terrace to Ruffner Academy.
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