A video taken on a cellphone in the hallways of a Florida middle school shows a 13-year-old student being verbally and physically bullied for her sexuality.
It wasn’t the first incident for Chad Sanford, a sixth-grader at Deerfield Beach Middle School. The bullying started in August.
WTVJ reported that Sanford is a transgender girl, but Sanford said the bullying was a result of their sexual orientation.
The video shows Sanford walking through a crowd in a school hallway, wearing a black hoodie and carrying what appears to be a book in her arm. Sanford is slammed to the ground from behind, causing her to abruptly fall to the ground and catch herself with her hands. Students kick, spit, and film Sanford.
“It’s been a living hell,” Sanford said in an interview with WPLG. She said students were screaming homophobic slurs and screamed, “We got that gay faggot.”
Sanford described a previous incident when a bully embarrassed her in front of classmates. “He stood on top of the stage and said to me, ‘I’m going to knock the gay out of him.’”
“They made me feel disgusted,” Sanford told WTVJi. “I actually feel like I could not live anymore. I feel like why do my sexual orientation had to do with you not liking me?”
A report by The Trevor Project, a nonprofit organization focused on suicide prevention in the LGBTQ community, found that suicide attempts were higher among youth of color. A 2017 survey by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network reported that students who experienced higher levels of victimization based on gender expression were twice as likely to discontinue pursuing post-secondary education.
The Human Rights Campaign Foundation guide for supporting transgender students and other students exploring gender identity and expression in K-12 schools. The guide details ways schools can support students in their gender identity and expression, like creating a procedure that allows a student or their parent to indicate what name and pronoun they wish to use.
The Broward County Public Schools is investigating the incident alongside law enforcement.
In a statement to WTVJ, the school district said, “Any students involved will face appropriate school disciplinary consequences in accordance with the codebook for student conduct.”
The Broward County Public Schools district and Deerfield Beach Middle School did not immediately respond to the Daily Dot’s request for comment.
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H/T Yahoo News