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Gay teen exposes horrific bullying in viral TikTok video

Gay teen exposes horrific bullying in viral TikTok video
Landon Jones Photo: Screenshot

A California high school student’s TikTok post exposing the anti-LGBTQ bullying he’s been subjected to has gone viral.

Earlier this month, 18-year-old Landon Jones posted the video, which shows two separate instances of anti-gay bullying caught on camera. One incident, recorded by Jones in August, shows a group of young men surrounding his car in the parking lot of a Starbucks.

“This f**king fa***t,” one of the young men says.

In the video, Jones says the group apparently followed him and his sister to the Starbucks, surrounding his car so that he could not leave, while yelling slurs and threats.

The second incident was captured on Jones’s family’s home surveillance camera, shows a young man approach the front door of his house in the dead of night.

“Does Landon live here,” the teen asks when Jones’s father answers the door.

“Yeah, why?” Jones’s father says.

“Someone said to come up here because he’s a fa***t!” the young man shouts as he runs off.

@allclearforlandon #lgbt #fyp #hatecrime ♬ original sound – Landon Jones

“I remember being up in my room, hearing it, and I heard what he said. I immediately jumped out of bed and walked outside to see what was happening,” Jones told NBC News. “I had no sleep that night. I was honestly really upset. I was crying.”

“I have been called ‘fa***t’ countless times at school, and it literally doesn’t bother me at all,” Jones says in the TikTok video. “But the fact that they came to my house does.”

Jones said that was a turning point. On October 1, he shared the post on TikTok. The clip has received 1.4 million views and over 12,000 primarily supportive comments.

“I’m sick of being silent about it, so I spoke up finally,” Jones said.

He said that at least two of the young men involved in both incidents attend El Toro High School in Lake Forest, California where Jones is a senior. His parents told NBC News that they are unaware of any action the school has taken in response to the harassment.

But a spokesperson for the school district provided a statement saying that Saddleback Valley Unified School District and El Toro High School “together with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department (OCSD), immediately launched a comprehensive investigation to uncover the facts of the incidents.”

“We can confirm that the person seen in the surveillance video of the incident that took place at a private home is not a student in SVUSD,” said Wendie Hauschild, the school district’s director of communications and administrative services. “Due to the confidentiality that we are required by law to uphold for our students, as well as other minors, SVUSD is unable to share further information regarding the results of the investigation. SVUSD remains steadfast in its commitment to create inclusive, supportive, and safe environments for all students on our campuses.”

An Orange County sheriff’s spokesperson said that a school resource officer has spoken to “individuals that may or may not have been involved in this incident” or “possibly have knowledge of the incident.” While the young man who approached Jones’s home has not been identified, the officer said that the investigation remains ongoing.

Jones, meanwhile, has transitioned to virtual schooling as a result of bullying at El Toro High School.

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