How does a 12-year-old child end up at lunch with a 16-year-old young man with mental and behavioral issues?
That is one of the many questions Sheheda Manley has for Pressley Ridge in Pittsburgh, PA. Sheheda’s 12-year-old son, Shannon Grant Jr. attends Pressley Ridge which is a school servicing children ages 5 – 21 who have mental and behavioral issues. Shannon was viciously attacked on September 18, 2013 in the cafeteria of the school. Shannon simply said “Hi” to the 16-year-old who responded by hitting Shannon in the face with a plate then beating and punching him into unconsciousness. This attack left Shannon with a huge gash circling the left side of his face requiring over 50 stitches to close up.
Shannon and Sheheda’s story has gone viral on Facebook and many people have pointed out that Shannon is a young black child and his attacker is a white young man. Sheheda says she doesn’t believe race played a part in this attack. She just believes the young man has mental issues that were beyond the help that the school could give him.
Sheheda has since pressed charges and had their first court date yesterday, September 26, 2013. She says Shannon was shaken to see his attacker again for the first time in court and understandably so. The 16-year-old attacker has apologized for his actions and the school has also apologized but that is not enough for Sheheda. She wants answers from the school as to why they could not ensure the safety of her child. Why were their 7 staff members and only 14 children and no one prevented this? She wants to know how someone with such severe issues ended up at lunch with her young son? Sheheda wants answers from the school, mental help for the 16-year-old who did this, and justice and healing for her son.
Criminal charges of aggravated assault have been pressed and there will be several court dates to come but Sheheda wants the young man to receive the mental help he needs more than anything. She wants to make sure that he will not do this to anyone else. Shannon is healing but not ready to return to school yet. Sheheda says that when he is ready she will not be sending him to Pressley Ridge. She went on to say that she is contemplating moving to Georgia to give Shannon, herself and her other children a fresh start. She expressed her extreme gratefulness to all the support she has received. One supporter has even offered to set up a trust fund for Shannon that people can donate to. Sheheda simply asks that we keep her son’s movement going.
Click the link below to watch Shannon Grant Jr. personally thank everyone for their support……such a sweet little boy.