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Mom says anti-LGBTQ+ bullies attacked 13-year-old son in school bathroom while teacher watched

Mom says anti-LGBTQ+ bullies attacked 13-year-old son in school bathroom while teacher watched
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A mother says bullies assaulted her 13-year-old son in a middle school bathroom after months of racist and anti-LGBTQ+ slurs. School and legal officials near Allendale-Fairfax Middle School in South Carolina have been unhelpful, she adds. Now, she’s rallying community attention while pursuing charges against the students involved.

Natasha Green’s son is Black, identifies as asexual and panromantic, and has a diagnosed social communication disorder (SCD). She gave video of his assault to LGBTQ Nation and says a teacher was present when it occurred but did nothing to stop it. LGBTQ Nation won’t name the underaged students involved.

Green’s son experienced an emotional breakdown after the alleged attack and is “terrified” to return to school, Green said. He has been placed on homebound instruction while special care professionals evaluate his residual trauma.

Though the school suspended the involved students for four to five days, Green is now pressing charges. She wants the students expelled for “organizing and executing a hate crime” and for the school to remove the witnessing teacher as well as the police school resource officer (SRO) who, she says, took an inaccurate report of the attack.

The alleged attack occurred around 12:30 p.m. local time on January 25 in the band hall restroom of Allendale-Fairfax Middle School, just after her son’s lunchtime.

As the math teacher escorted his students to the bathroom, a girl pushed her son into the boys’ bathroom after she had arranged for two students to attack him, Green said.

A 48-second video of the incident shows Green’s son standing next to a row of urinals while a larger blond, white male classmate repeatedly says, “C’mon, hit me bro. Hit me. C’mon. Do it.”

Green’s son silently stands, nervously holding his left wrist with his right hand as the classmate gets closer.

“If you don’t speak, I might have to,” the blond says.

An off-camera male classmate then counts down “3, 2, 1,” before the blond kid makes an aggressive motion toward Green’s son. Another male student then runs into the camera frame, pushing Green’s son further into the bathroom while the blond follows.

The video shows the two male students grabbing and pulling her son while the blond throws punches at his head. Her son struggles to pull away from his classmates, kicking at the blond just before the blond throws another punch.

The video ends there, though the video shows another student also recording on his phone. Green says the school has three videos of the attack.

According to Green, five students total were in the restroom when the incident occurred, as was her son’s math teacher. The teacher, Green says, is a foreign-born educator teaching under a work visa as part of a year-long program for which the school paid. Green said the school principal was made aware of the teacher’s presence, apologized on his behalf, and said his inaction was likely due to shock and not knowing how to respond.

Green’s son dialed 911 after the attack, and emergency medical services (EMS) arrived at the school. EMS workers attempted calming techniques with him as school officials contacted Green and her other family members to notify them about the incident. Green’s son also spoke with the SRO, a police officer stationed at the school, about what happened.

Green’s mom (her son’s grandmother) was the first to arrive at school.

“When my mom got there,” Green wrote, “he was agitated and hallucinating again so he was transported to the local [emergency room] for evaluation. At the ER, the doctor suggested he stay out of school until he could fully calm down and see his regular doctors and therapist.”

She said that her son was so terrified after the attack that he had trouble recognizing his family members, had difficulty calming down, and felt as if he was still under attack. When she met with her son’s special needs behavioral health care workers, they said that she’d need to provide the SRO’s incident report so that they could schedule priority responsive care sessions for her son.

When Green received the report on January 27, she said the SRO slid the report to Green through a crack in the door. When Green pointed out that the report didn’t mention the female student who allegedly encouraged the boys to attack her son, she said the SRO informed her that she had based her report on the principal’s account of what happened, hadn’t spoken to any of the other students involved, and refused to change the report.

“I reminded [the SRO] that she talked to my son, and she said no, that was not true. I have video evidence that she did,” Green said.

Green provided the report to LGBTQ Nation. It says, “[The two boys] started a physical altercation with [Green’s son]. The three had a discussion while in the restroom and [the first boy] began physically assaulting [Green’s son] then [the blond boy] joined in he assault bt striking [Green’s son] with closed fist (sic) on or about his body.” It also mentions that Green’s son called EMS who came to the school to treat him, but it doesn’t mention the teacher who allegedly watched the attack.

On January 30, Green went to the Allendale County Sheriff’s Office to file a statement about what happened: One that names the girl allegedly involved and the teacher who allegedly watched the attack without intervening. She said that the Allendale County Sheriff eventually called her boyfriend into a meeting and told him that Green was making a bigger deal out of the incident than it needed to be.

Green says the school and police are treating what happened like a small school fight rather than an orchestrated attack or a hate crime. She also says that her son, who is out as asexual and panromantic at school, has endured months’ worth of verbal abuse from the students who attacked him, including being called the n-word, a fa**ot, and a queer. Her son and his alleged attackers discussed this verbal harassment earlier in the year in an office visit with the school guidance counselor, Green said.

Green’s child has SCD, a condition that affects an estimated 7.5 percent of kids. SCD makes it difficult for a young person to communicate and to understand communication, especially when it’s non-verbal or implied. Her son’s responses to questions sometimes don’t initially make sense, his attempts at “dark humor” can come off as completely serious, and he also gets nervous and has trouble communicating around people who come off as judgmental.

Her son first showed signs of SCD in third grade. As his condition has deepened, she has gotten him a specialized care team that involves his pediatrician, a behavioral health specialist who has tested and diagnosed him, and a therapist who teaches him coping mechanisms. The specialist wants to do additional testing for possible attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), she says.

Green describes her son as intelligent, highly inquisitive, and loving towards his three siblings. When her son came out to her about his asexual and panromantic identities, she said she and her partner praised him and gave him their unconditional love and support.

Her son plays euphonium in the school band and enjoys science and social studies classes. However, Green says that only one of his school teachers submitted a formally requested plan of how to accommodate his SCD-related special needs. Others have since agreed to some special accommodations during her one-on-one meetings with them, but they never submitted the formally requested plans as expected, she added.

The math teacher, on the other hand, allegedly told Green that her son is disrespectful, doesn’t complete his classwork, and doesn’t pay attention in class. When her son asks for additional help, she says, the teacher reprimands him instead of assisting.

After the attack, Green said the principal agreed to put a monitor in her son’s math class, but allegedly said that his teacher wouldn’t be dismissed since he was hired in a year-long exchange teaching program that the school had already paid for.

To Green’s knowledge, the school has no support group or visible safe spaces and allies for LGBTQ+ students. She said other LGBTQ+ parents have come forward since her son’s attack claiming that school officials have said they don’t “condone” LGBTQ+ relationships “around here.” LGBTQ Nation has contacted the Allendale Country School District seeking comment.

“We have obtained an attorney,” Green told LGBTQ Nation. “This week, a petition is being started for my son to have his rights as a citizen and press charges against the students that attacked him (including the organizer), for the students to be expelled for organizing and executing a hate crime, for the teacher to be removed from the classroom and have his work visa revoked, and for the SRO to be removed from the school and/or fired.”

“The school and the sheriff’s office have refused to acknowledge this as a hate crime,” Green added. “Other parents in the area are working on organizing a protest.”

Green herself says that she has helped organize local “Live to Love” anti-bullying and anti-suicide events for kids. The event features free food, fun activities, guest speakers, and local groups to create a safe and encouraging space for young people, she said.

Editor’s note: This article mentions suicide. If you need to talk to someone now, call the Trans Lifeline at 1-877-565-8860. It’s staffed by trans people, for trans people. The Trevor Project provides a safe, judgement-free place to talk for LGBTQ youth at 1-866-488-7386. You can also call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

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