Mother charged with assault after video of school fight surfaces

Posted at 5:59 PM, Aug 31, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-01 12:13:08-04

NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY, Va. – A video shows several punches thrown inside Northumberland High School, before the physical altercation is broken up.

Nicole Thomas said the video shows her son John in a fight before football practice Tuesday. The video shows John and a teammate walk towards each other and physically engage before the other boy slams John to the ground.

Several punches are thrown before someone breaks it up.

Then a woman comes into frame, who John said is the other boy`s mother -- a football team volunteer.

John Thomas and mother

In the video, the woman slaps John, screams at him, and says he called her son the N-word.

“I saw her hand come down then she hit my face and then she said ‘he will not call my son the N-word,’” John said.

John said he was confused because he never said that and he would never use that word as an insult.

He said the situation started when he was talking to another teammate and the boy jumped into the conversation.

When he told him to mind his business, John said the boy got embarrassed and left, before returning with his mom.

Nicole Thomas

His mom said while she`s upset about the fight, she`s more enraged to see her son restrained in the video.

“How dare you?” Thomas said. “For this woman to restrain my son by holding him by the shirt and then sticking her finger in his face after slapping him.”

“Then, chastising him for something that he repeatedly said he didn't say, how dare you?” Thomas continued. "To abuse, berate, belittle, intimidate and physically attack someone is disgusting. I think it needs to be addressed and think people need to be punished for it and held accountable."

John said he knew he was getting ready to be hit by her and that he doesn’t hit women, so he didn’t fight back.

“Plus she was an adult,” he said. “So I let her do it. Let her make that choice because in the end I'm going to win."

John Thomas

Heather Sebra was charged with assault Wednesday, and a protective order was served against her, confirmed the Northumberland Sheriff`s Office.

Investigators said a juvenile was also charged in relation to the case.

School Superintendent Dr. Rebecca Gates said they`ll handle the matter swiftly and justly.

“Yes, that's a huge problem, obviously we want to make sure our students are safe,” she said.

“We will have all of the information that we need before we make a fair and honest determination about consequences and what we need to avoid this situation again,” Dr. Gates added.

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