A disturbing cell phone video has emerged showing a 13-year-old transgender girl being thrown to the floor in the hallway of her Florida high school by an older student, while classmates watch without trying to intervene.
The incident took place at Deerfield Beach Middle School in Broward County last Friday, and the victim’s aunt shared the video of the attack on Facebook the following day, where it has since gone viral.
The girl in the video, Chad Sanford, told me NBC Wednesday that she has been bullied for almost a year for being gay and that last week’s sexual assault has left her with a headache and feeling suicidal.
Video recorded at Deerfield Beach Middle School in Florida on May 21 shows sixth-grader Chad Sanford, 13 (shown in brown shorts), walking down the hall before being attacked
This screenshot captures the moment when an eighth-grader who allegedly bullied Sanford for being gay takes the transgender teen off the floor
Sanford is first hit to the floor. In the video, none of the other students standing nearby appears to be trying to intervene on behalf of the child
Sanford is left curled up in a fetal position in the center of the hallway. She later said that other students had kicked her in the head
“I kept thinking,” Why should I be here? Why are you spanking me for being myself? “She said.
Sanford, who is in sixth grade, was walking down the hall at 2:30 p.m. last Friday when an older boy, reputedly in eighth grade, came from behind, picked her up and knocked her to the ground.
In the 28-second video posted by Sanford’s aunt, Raquel Showers, the child is left in a fetal position in the hallway, surrounded by a crowd of students, who don’t seem to be helping her.
“I feared for my life,” Sanford told NBC, adding that only one student later offered her help when she went to the principal’s office.
Showers wrote in a Facebook post that other guys kicked Sanford in the head and hit her, injuring the 13-year-old. She also claimed there was no security or surveillance of any kind, and then school officials waited for everyone to go home to call Sanford’s guardian.
Sanford said she feared for her life. The attack is said to have caused the 13-year-old to headache and suicidal thoughts
A spokesperson for Broward County Public Schools said the Deerfield Beach Middle School incident is currently under review
The incident has been reported to the Broward County Sheriff’s Office, but it is unclear at this point whether it is being investigated as a hate crime.
Sanford told WPLG10 since last August she has been bullied for being gay, which has made the school year ‘hell’ for her.
Sanford’s aunt, Raquel Showers, said she was heartbroken to learn that the 13-year-old wanted to take her own life as a result of the bullying
According to the sixth-grader, the same boy who allegedly assaulted her on Friday made homophobic remarks and called names at her.
“One day he embarrassed me in front of everyone,” Sanford said. “He was on top of the stage and said to me, I’m going to knock the gay out of him.”
Sanford’s aunt said she was heartbroken to learn that the attack made the child suicidal.
A spokesperson for Broward County Public Schools told NBC Miami in a statement that the incident is being reviewed.
‘School safety is our highest priority. The school management is taking this incident seriously and is cooperating with the police in the investigation, ” the statement said. “All students involved will be faced with appropriate disciplinary consequences at school in accordance with the codebook for student behavior.”
For confidential support, call the National Suicide Prevention Line at 1-800-273-8255