Vigil held for South Elgin boy, 12, allegedly beaten by classmate

SOUTH ELGIN, Ill. (WLS) -- A candlelight vigil was held Saturday night for 12-year-old Henry Sembdner, who was allegedly beaten by a classmate at a South Elgin middle school.

Sembdner, a 7th grader at Kenyon Woods Middle School, remained hospitalized Saturday in a medically induced coma.

"He deserves all of our prayers and all of our love. He is such a good kid," said student Ryan Rothecker.

On Friday, Sembdner was allegedly slammed into the ground after bumping into another student at the school. He suffered multiple facial fractures. He was taken to Presence St. Joseph Hospital in Elgin and then airlifted to Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge to receive treatment for "severe injuries."

"I was sick to my stomach and I honestly couldn't believe it," said Kenyon parent Barb Ceasario

"I'm really sad because I have known him since I was a little kid. It is heartbreaking for me," said student Madison Jarosch.

Parent Nicole Altman, who does not know the boy, quickly organized the candlelight prayer after hearing news of the incident.

"We always try to have each other's backs. We try to parent everybody's kids. Everybody comes together. There is a lot of faith in this community," Altman said.

Friends, classmates and even teachers said they were hoping for the best.

"He is an amazing young man. He is kind and funny and so full of energy. Every teacher who comes in contact with him feels that way. How can you not get emotional?" said teacher Audrey Graff.

The alleged attacker was taken into custody by the South Elgin police.
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