A Georgia high school student faces multiple charges after attacking a classmate who was wearing a rainbow Pride flag.
Video of the incident, which took place on Sept. 2, shows the student at Lowndes High School in Valdosta, Ga., running up behind the victim and pulling the flag — which was draped around their shoulders — so forcibly that the victim was yanked down onto the floor.
Students watched and laughed as the attacker, who has not been named, ran while still holding the flag, dragging the victim along the cafeteria floor.
Another student, who was seated with the victim, rushed over to try and stop the attack. After struggling, the attacker took the Pride flag and threw it into a nearby bin, toppling it over.
The video ends as the attacker appears to strike the student who tried to intervene.
José, a graduate of Lowndes High School, shared the video to Twitter, noting that his brother currently attends the school.
They called the attack “a fucking hate crime,” adding, “I’m so fucking LIVID that girl at the table was smiling and laughing at this kid getting assaulted.”
i need everyone to see the scum thats here in South Ga
this just happened today at Lowndes High School, the high school i went to and my brother is currently going to, here in Valdosta pic.twitter.com/o0DWllzn4h
— José 🤘 (@jrcamachobass) September 2, 2021
One of the witnesses told WALB that they and their friends “are unsafe because the majority of us are part of the LGBT community and you would think going to school would be a safe place, but there’s people with so much hatred that will hate you and do anything they can to just at you because you’re different and want to express yourself.”
The student who committed the attack was allegedly dared $5 to steal the flag, according to posts on social media.
They now face multiple charges related to the incident, Sheriff Ashley Paulk of Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office told WALB.
The charges include simple battery, disorderly conduct, and disruption of a public facility, with Georgia’s Department of Juvenile Justice overseeing the investigation.
A school spokesperson told WALB that the student who wore the Pride flag was not injured during the attack, and that the student who attacked them would face consequences.
“We are aware of a social media video involving two students and a Pride flag,” the spokesperson said. “We take the well-being and safety of our students seriously. Our staff works hard to provide a safe environment where all of our students feel valued.
“As soon as the Lowndes High School administration was aware, the matter was investigated, they ensured that the victim was not hurt, and addressed the other student following the appropriate consequence outlined in the Student Code of Conduct.”
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