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Police Investigate Cafeteria Beating of Teen

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PANORA, Iowa -- An 8th grade student at Panorama Middle School in Panora was beaten in the cafeteria.

Alex Kent said it started with a stupid ongoing game that involved 8th grade boys joking around hitting each other in the groin. It ended with Kent in a hospital bed, a titanium plate in his jaw, and a broken leg that will be mended with the help of pins and screws.

Kent's mother said he was hit four or five times after he got knocked to the ground. Yvonne Repp said she's furious that such serious injuries could have been inflicted in such a short period of time if there was really adequate supervision in a busy lunchroom.

"He was knocked unconscious, punched several times in the head, could hardly walk," Repp said.

She said the school didn't call an ambulance, instead they used an ice pack and asked permission to give Kent Tylenol. Kent's sister later drove him to the hospital.

School superintendent Kathy Elliot said Alex was not knocked unconscious and her staff responded quickly.

"I know at least five, six teachers were right there in the vicinity and got over there as soon as they saw what was happening," Elliot said.

Elliot said the incident escalated very quickly and in the aftermath it was difficult for staff evaluating Alex to be able to tell the extent of his internal injuries.

Panora Police Chief Matt Reising said Saturday that he expects a decision on charges by Wednesday.

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