Metro Weekly

Trans student brutally beaten by peers at Georgia high school

Shantae Payne said she was knocked unconscious during the attack at Pebblebrook High School

Shantae Payne, trans, transgender, student, high school, georgia
Shantae Payne (left) and a still from footage of the attack — Images: 11 Alive / Twitter

A 15-year-old transgender student has spoken out after a viral video captured her being brutally assaulted by her classmates.

Shantae Payne told 11 Alive that she lost consciousness during the attack at Pebblebrook High School in Cobb County, but that the offending students are still in school and continue to threaten her.

Video of the Nov. 9 incident shows Payne lying on the ground while she is punched, kicked, and stomped on by multiple students, while others watch nearby. (Warning: Graphic content.)

Payne said she was “blindsided” by the students who attacked her, adding, “I didn’t know who they were.” After she lost consciousness, someone helped Payne to the nurse’s office for treatment.

Despite the severity of the attack, Payne and her legal guardian, Blanche Payne, said that the students have yet to be punished.

“On Thursday she walks down the hall and one of the boys walks right by her and threatens her,” Blanche Payne told 11 Alive. “[They were] telling her that if she comes back to school ‘we’re going to drag her in the bathroom,’ they’re going to attack her.”

She added: “No one has a right to judge or attack someone because they are different.”

A spokesperson for Cobb County School District told 11 Alive that they are “aware of the video” and the district is investigating.

“All involved students will be dealt with according to district policies,” the spokesperson said. “We are unable to provide further detail due to privacy laws which protect student criminal and discipline records.”

Shantae Payne said that school administrators confirmed to her that they are investigating the attack, which she considers to be a hate crime.

“People like me are judged every day, we are targeted every day,” she said. “This is a hate crime. This happens all the time and it’s swept under the rug.

“And me being who I am, I’m not going to let it go, I need to be heard because I have a voice just like everybody else, and I’m going to use it.”

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