Israel Price was physically injured when a couple of school bullies reportedly attacked him in a bathroom, but the seventh-grader's spirit appears far from broken.
According to his mother, Charleia, the 13-year-old was assaulted in the bathroom of Riverdale Middle School, outside Atlanta, Ga., on Sept. 19. The two bullies pushed Israel into a brick wall, which gave the boy a concussion, reports My Fox Atlanta.
Upset with the way the incident was handled by school authorities, Price told My Fox Atlanta: "Bullying is an issue. Kids picking on other kids is an issue and no one pays attention."
In a statement sent to CBS Atlanta, the Clayton County School District said, in part:
This is an ongoing investigation. We have learned that the principal and teachers followed protocol. We are limited in the amount of information that we can disclose at this time because of the ages of the students involved. We can state that efforts have been made to ensure that all involved students received due process.
An aspiring singer, Israel's head injury has kept him out of school. He attends daily speech and physical therapy, but his speech is still slurred and walking remains difficult. In a tragic twist, Israel had apparently been a performer in an anti-bullying campaign called Fed Up 4 You before his injury, reports CBS Atlanta.
"I can't sing like that right anymore," Israel told local NBC affiliate 11 Alive. "I can't go do a performance because I can't walk that good right now."
While Israel may not be able to perform quite like he used to (for now), he was able to appear for an interview with HLN on Oct. 10 and gave a rousing rendition of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow."
HLN reported that the two boys involved in the attack have been expelled, but no further charges have been filed.
Israel's parents say this isn't enough, however, and allege that the school did not respond adequately to Israel's complaints of being bullied prior to the bathroom incident.
"The school system clearly failed this young man," the Prices' lawyer, Gerald Griggs, told 11 Alive. "The law in Georgia regarding bullying is pretty clear. This should have been reported to the principal."
Watch the video (above) to see Israel's on-air performance of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow."