ATLANTA — Timothy Jefferson, 16, has known he is gay since the seventh grade. As a student at Carver School of the Arts, part of the Atlanta Public Schools system, he’s been openly gay since the first day of class.
“There’s lot of gay students [at the school], girls and boys. Some on the down low,” says Timothy, in an interview at his home.
“Everyone knows I’m gay,” he adds, noting he’s been constantly harassed and bullied by other students during his two years at the school where he’s studying to perhaps one day be an interior designer or a musician.
On Monday, April 20, Timothy said he and his best friend, Zyderryo Brown, 17, were walking on campus when Brown was attacked. Timothy said he tried to break the fight up and then he was jumped by other students. The fight then moved to the school’s courtyard where the crowd grew larger. Timothy said he there were about 15 people attacking him and another 15 attacking Brown.
“I started fighting the person who hit me. They stabbed me in the eye with a screwdriver and hit me on the head — I have a big sore on top of my head,” he says. “They were stomping me on my back and chest and I looked over and saw them smashing Zyderryo’s head on the sidewalk. We kept getting jumped. There were at least five or six rounds of us getting jumped.”
Article continues belowTimothy said no adults — no administrators, police officers or security guards — were on hand to break up the fight. “There was no sympathy, no concern or anything,” he says.
Timothy says he was shouting for the assailants to stop and that they were yelling at him, saying they were going to “beat your faggot ass” and calling him a “gay ass nigger.”
“We got into a fight because they don’t like us because we are gay,” he says. “During the whole fight I was saying, God, please don’t let me die. The screwdriver could have hit me anywhere.”
There is no gay-straight student alliance at the school, Timothy adds.