A Florida school district has launched an investigation after disturbing video captured a homophobic attack on one of its students.
The incident reportedly took place last Friday in a hallway at Deerfield Beach Middle School, located in Broward County. The victim, 13-year-old Chad Sanford, is seen walking amongst his peers when an older student comes up from behind and slams Chad to the ground. Video, shared by WPLG Local 10, shows other students surrounding Chad as the physical and verbal attack continued.
“It’s been a living hell,” Chad told the network. “He just stepped on my face, they were kicking and spitting on me and all that was a little clip of the video. They were screaming. They were saying, ‘We got that gay fa***t.’”
Several outlets, including NBC News, say Chad identifies as a trans girl; however the sixth-grader says the ongoing bullying stemmed from their sexual orientation.
“One day he embarrassed me in front of everybody,” Chad said about the attacker. “He stood on top of the stage and said to me, ‘I’m going to knock the gay out of him.’”
Chad’s aunt, Raquel Showers, claimed the child has experienced headaches due to the attack, but said she was more concerned about his mental well-being.
“He wanted to kill himself because they keep bullying him,” she said. “So, hearing that, it just makes me cry.”
The Broward County Public Schools has not specified what kind of disciplinary action the involved students are facing, but said it is investigating the incident with the help of police.
“The school’s leadership is taking this incident seriously and is working with law enforcement in its investigation,” the school district said in a statement to NBC Miami. “Any students involved will face appropriate school disciplinary consequences in accordance with the codebook for student conduct.”