DEERFIELD BEACH, Fla. – Deerfield Beach parents say they are disturbed by the video showing a middle school student attacked over their sexual orientation.
“I was horrified when I saw that. I have three boys,” concerned parent Cassandra Pierce said Wednesday morning.
Disturbing video shows Chad Sanford, 13, being attacked and slammed to the ground by a group of older students at Deerfield Beach Middle School as others just watched.
The incident is now under investigation by the school district and the Broward Sheriff’s Office.
Chad told Local 10 News on Tuesday that it has been going on since last August, and it’s because Chad is gay.
The sixth-grader describes this school year as “horrible, it’s been a living hell.”
Chad says the person behind the attack caught on video Friday is an eighth-grader, and that several students direct homophobic slurs toward Chad.
“He just stepped on my face, they were kicking and spitting on me and all that was a little clip of the video,” Chad said.
Chad says the homophobic bullying has been happening all year. “One day he embarrassed me in front of everybody. 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 says the incident took a major toll on the teenager.
“He wanted to kill himself because they keep bullying him, hearing that it just makes me cry,” Showers said.
Fellow parents say no child should feel that way
Broward County Public Schools responded to the incident in a statement which reads in part:
“School safety is our highest priority. The school’s leadership is taking this incident seriously and is working with law enforcement in its investigation. Any students involved will also face appropriate school disciplinary consequences in accordance with the code book for school conduct.”
For parent Cassandra Pierce, that’s too little, too late.
“My son will not be going here next year,” she said.
At this point, it’s unclear what disciplinary actions might be taken against the students involved in the attack.