12-year-old boy doing better after vicious school beating

FOX 32 NEWS - The family of a 12-year-old South Elgin boy says he's doing better after a vicious beating at his school.

The boy was hit so hard by another student that doctors initially put him into a medically-induced coma to protect him from brain swelling. It happened Friday at the Kenyon Woods Middle School in South Elgin.

The seventh grader, Henry Sembdner, is now out of a medically-induced coma at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge after he was punched by another student during a passing period at his South Elgin school.

"The student was bumped or somehow bumped into the other student. That student then became aggressive in a very short couple of seconds and injured the young man to the point.... where you've probably seen those injuries on Facebook," said school official John Heiderscheit.

District U-46 is interviewing witnesses and investigating the beating before taking disciplinary action against the other student, which could potentially include expulsion.

South Elgin police are also conducting a criminal investigation.

His mother, Karen Sembdner, did not want to go on camera but told FOX 32 that Henry is doing much better now: eating, walking and talking, and has been moved into a regular hospital room.

About 120 students at Kenyon Woods Middle School spoke with counselors and social workers Monday to help them deal with their emotions, and students signed a banner that will be sent to Henry's hospital room.

"Almost all of the students at Kenyon Woods wore green. They decided that that's the color of hope and they wanted to show their unity and support of Henry. And we found out through the day that students were actually wearing green throughout the district," said U-46 spokesperson Mary Fergus.

District officials would not reveal any information about the student who beat Henry, nor would they say whether that student was in school Monday. Henry's mom told FOX 32 that the family appreciates the outpouring of support from the community, including two separate GoFundMe accounts that have so far raised $30-thousand dollars to help pay for his medical care.

About 200 people attended a candlelight vigil for Henry on Saturday night.