Classmates support Illinois 7th-grader severely injured in alleged beating

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Students at a middle school in Illinois wore Chicago Cubs gear to support a classmate who was severely injured in an alleged beating by a fellow student.

Students at a middle school in northwest suburban South Elgin wore Chicago Cubs gear Tuesday to support a classmate recovering from an alleged beating.

Henry Sembdner, 12, remained hospitalized Tuesday at Lutheran General Hospital, but he is improving. Students at Kenyon Woods Middle School rallied around the 7th-grader and wore T-shirts, sweatshirts and jerseys representing his favorite team.

PHOTOS: South Elgin students rally around classmate


What happened to Henry is still a shock to all of this friends at school.

"I cannot believe that this happened to my friend," said Alyssa Anderson, a friend.

"Seeing him the hospital, all of those pictures. It's just so sad. It's horrible," said Alex Best, another friend.

School officials said last week, Henry accidentally bumped into another student in a packed hall. That student became aggressive and began to violently attack Henry. He was thrown so hard on the floor that he suffered several skull fractures.

Henry couldn't breathe on his own. He was airlifted to Lutheran General, where he was placed in a medically induced coma. His family said Sunday he was awake, but not yet talking.

Henry's mother, Karen DeWilde Sembdner, posted an update Monday that said he was having conversations and eating. He also asked to read cards his classmates made for him. She said he is very thankful for the support.

"I'm sure it shows him there are people that care. I think it's amazing to see how many people can come together for just one person," she said.

Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo tweeted Monday night a message of support to Henry, promising him tickets to a game and encouraging him to stay strong.


On Tuesday, Henry's classmates wrote cards and made a banner for him.

"He is just so sweet. He would do this for anyone else. He is just the sweetest kid ever," Alyssa said.

School officials won't identify the alleged attacker, but police are apparently involved. Best said she knows the student and rides the bus with him every day.

"I was very shocked, knowing it was him," Alex said.

Her mother, Jennifer Best, said the horrible incident has brought so many in the community together.

"This poor little innocent child is so known and so loved to so many today. I really feel that that is just giving him more strength to get better, day by day," Best said.

On Wednesday, students plan to wear super-hero shirts. Henry loves Batman and Superman.

Related Topics:
newsbeatingassaultstudentsu.s. & worldChicago CubsschoolIllinois
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