Family of Las Vegas teen Jonathan Lewis, 17, sets up anti-bullying foundation as eight people are arrested for his murder: Two other teen thugs seen beating him to death in brutal video are still on the run
The family of Las Vegas teenager Jonathan Lewis, who was allegedly beaten to death by a gang of bullies outside his school, has launched an anti-bullying foundation in his memory.
Called ‘Team Jonathan‘, the foundation appears willing to collaborate with other anti-bullying campaigns, including Choose love And Fathers in schoolsto combat a recent wave of bullying across America.
The teen’s father, Jonathan Lewis Sr, has claimed the gang that attacked his son was previously involved in similar incidents – and locals claim the school district has a widespread bullying problem.
It comes as eight alleged members of the group are charged with Lewis’ murder, while Las Vegas police say they are still searching for two others believed to have taken part in the fight.
Jonathan Lewis, 17, was allegedly beaten to death by a gang of 10 bullies on November 1. On Tuesday, eight accused members were charged with murder, and two are still on the run
The teen’s father, Jonathan Lewis Sr, has created a foundation called ‘Team Jonathan’ to combat bullying and help students with ‘conflict and trauma resolution training’
Team Jonathan will collaborate with other anti-bullying charities at a time when reports of bullying are increasing across America
According to the newly formed foundation’s website, the organization plans to combat bullying in a number of ways, including by building an app for mentoring and social media safety.
The app will include a safety alert system and a ‘Love Protector’ which it says will “allow all community members to come together to stop bullying and spread love.”
It will also work directly with students, require the Clark County School District to take responsibility for bullying incidents and help create after-school programs.
The work with Choose Love will also provide teens with training in conflict and trauma resolution, at a time when experts warn that young people in the U.S. are facing unprecedented mental health challenges.
Bullying incidents have received increasing attention in recent years, according to a report by the RAND Corporation Earlier this year it emerged that teachers are more concerned about bullying than drugs and even school shootings.
a PEW Research Center A 2022 survey of parents found that almost three-quarters are very or somewhat concerned that their child could be bullied at school, a figure that was 60 percent in 2015.
Jonathan’s father told NewsNation that the group that attacked his son had previously been involved in similar attacks at Rancho High School – just a few blocks away from where the incident occurred.
Footage of the violence that reportedly led to Lewis’ death shows a group of a dozen students panicking after the fight started
Total chaos ensues as Lewis is beaten until he is unconscious
Footage of the incident went viral and was viewed by millions of people, sparking outrage as police took two weeks to file any charges.
After the bullying incident shocked the nation, officials urged parents to use Jonathan’s attack as an example to talk to their children about bullying and “don’t bury your head in the sand.”
Eight teenagers have been charged in the murder of Lewis, who police say agreed to fight the group in a row over stolen wireless headphones.
Lt. Jason Johansson of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department said all the people involved — believed to be 10 — were students at Rancho High School.
Johansson described a viral video showing the assault as “devoid of humanity”, while Lewis’ father said he “couldn’t watch” the clip.
Revealing further details of the attack that has shocked the nation, Johansson said a citizen found Lewis unconscious after the assault, which took place in an alley near the school, and brought him back to the school.
Lewis was then taken to UMC, where doctors determined he had suffered “non-survivable head trauma,” Fox 5 Vegas reported.
“As soon as a blow is thrown, 10 subjects immediately swarm towards him,” he said, noting that investigators were able to identify 10 subjects, eight of whom were “positively identified” as suspects.
Johansson said the process is underway to try the eight as adults.
LVMPD will release photos of the two additional individuals they want to find, who participated in the assault but have not yet been identified.
As the footage was captured on camera and shared on social media, officials believe there may be other angles to the attack they want to highlight.
“There is a good chance that there is more video footage available that we don’t have,” Johansson said, urging parents to talk to their children about what happened and not “bury your head in the sand ‘.
Jonathan’s heartbroken family described him as “a kind, loving, gentle young man with the heart of a champion and the brightest loving energy that draws people to him with love.”
Lewis Sr has since set up a GoFundMe page to help cover the costs of his son’s untimely death, and he said the proceeds – which have surpassed $100,000 – will be split between the families of Jonathan’s mother and father.
The money is to be used “for healing,” the GoFundMe page says, and to set up the foundation.
According to the fundraiser set up after Lewis’ death, which names the teen’s girlfriend, his decision to take action was because the other bullied student he was helping was much smaller and had items stolen from him by the group.
The page described him as “a kind, loving, gentle young man with the heart of a champion and the brightest loving energy that draws people to him with love.”
The family wrote before his death: ‘He is an aspiring artist, a devoted big brother and a fierce protector of loved ones!
“We are so grateful for all the love and support from the community that has poured in for our son and hope that the world will focus on all that love and compassion as a beacon of hope for human relationships and recognize how much stronger the love and the spirit of community is then the dark moments of violence.
“Love wins, our son is a champion of love and family and the resilient spirit of human perseverance and the will to be good, kind and loving!”