- (Photo: Facebook/Bailey O'Neill)
The family of a bullied boy who died at the weekend has said that he is now "with God" in a tragic case that has gained international attention recently.
Bailey O'Neill, who was assaulted and allegedly bullied by some of his fellow classmates, died on Sunday after finally succumbing to his injuries. He had just turned 12 years old on Saturday.
A relative posted on Facebook: "I would like to thank everyone who has prayed and supported Bailey and his family!! Bailey has been the strongest toughest boy I know. He has fought this battle long and hard. There just wasn't a way to fix this. I wish I could say he will get better but I can't. Bailey has gone to be with God today."
O'Neill was attacked by two of his classmates in January. The vicious assault put the then-11 year old into hospital where he suffered seizures and was eventually placed in a coma by medical staff.
Relatives of the young boy have demanded that the bullies who killed him should face severe punishment.
The case gained national recognition recently when the NFL's Baltimore Ravens star, Ray Rice, spoke out about the incident. He has insisted that the tragedy of O'Neill's case should spark a reaction where bullying should be criminalized. He has vowed to the boy, "I will not let you become just another bully statistic."
Following O'Neill's death, superintendent of the Southeast Delco School District, Stephen Butz, released a statement saying, "Late yesterday, we were informed about the death of Bailey O'Neill. Our school community is deeply saddened by this loss. Our condolences are with Bailey's family and friends during this very difficult time."
O'Neill was a sixth grader at Darby Township School in Penn. According to reports, the young boy was attacked during recess at his school and hit several times by the other students. He had his nose broken and also suffered a concussion, according to The Daily Mail.
Following the severe beating his parents took him to a local hospital where he was given initial treatment and released. However, his parents brought him back soon after when they realized something was not right about him, according to WPVI.
His father had said, "He was sleeping. He was moody. He wasn't himself. He was angry a little bit. He wasn't really eating."
His parents described how he suffered numerous violent seizures, which became so severe that medical staff decided to place him into a medically induced coma.
Father, Rob Bailey, told WPVI-TV, "Every day I'm trying to stay strong for him. When you get into that hospital room and you're looking at him, I would trade places in a heartbeat. It's my buddy, you know."
Southeast Delco School District Superintendent Stephen Butz had told ABC News that they were taking the bullying accusations seriously and that their prayers were with the family: "We are very concerned about the medical condition of the student and our thoughts and prayers are with the family and students."
School officials have not publicly admitted that any action has been taken against the bullies in this case, however, according to ABC News, O'Neill's father told them one of the boys had been suspended for two days after the attack.
At the moment no criminal charges have been filed about the attackers, although a criminal investigation is currently being conducted.
Here is a video report into the tragic death: