School has not been easy for 16-year-old Tim Jefferson, a gay teen from Atlanta, GA. He attends Carver School of Technology, where his mother, Sabrina, says he has been targeted at least eight other times for being gay. However, the latest incident has been enough to make headlines around the country: A beating by a mob.
Tim says he and his friend were leaving school when a group of people began harassing them with racist and homophobic slurs. Then, the situation escalated. Luckily, as is so common these days, a video taken with a cell phone captured the incident. In the video footage, which local station WCGL was able to get a copy of, a mob of students can be seen rushing the fight as Tim Jefferson is being beaten. The victim says of the incident:
My face, my eye, my lip, on my back, my spine right in the middle, the back of my neck and I got hit in the back of my head.
Obviously, after this sort of treatment, Jefferson has suffered many injuries, both physical and psychological. He even says that he was stabbed in the face with a screwdriver. His mother says she will be removing him from Carver School of Technology after this latest instance of bullying.
The report from local affiliate CBS46 says:
Jefferson’s mom, Sabrina Giles, said this is about the eighth time this year that her son and his friend were attacked because of their sexuality so she’s transferring him to another school.
Jefferson hoped to teach the bullies a lesson of their own.
“I’m going to press charges. I want some justice. If God willing, I’m going to get justice and I want the boys who did this to go to jail,” Jefferson said.
Atlanta police charged four students in the fight. Three juveniles will face state charges of affray. The other student, Jefferson’s friend, who said he was bullied, will face a charge of disorderly conduct.
Hopefully, Tim Jefferson gets his justice. However, I must ask, why was his friend, who is also a victim, being charged with disorderly conduct? It sounds like this has been an ongoing pattern of bullying by homophobic and racist students, as well as a lack of action on the part of school and district authorities. Reports of the incident say that the principal, whose name has not been included in the news report, watched the entire brutal beating, but made no move to put a stop to it.
Sabrina says of this piece of information:
He should have called in the proper authorities.
She’s right, of course. It never should have come to this. It is the responsibility of school officials, including but not limited to teachers, guidance counselors, security personnel, assistant principals, principals, other administrators, and anyone else in positions of authority to do something about bullying and harassment, and to make sure that schools are safe and productive learning environments for all students. Hopefully, the police follow through with this, people are arrested, and the principal, is, at the very least, fired, so that Tim Jefferson and his friend can get the justice they deserve.
Watch a news report on the incident below:
Featured Image: Video Screenshot from CBS46 via The Gaily Grind