Local authorities in Richmond, Canada, are investigating an attack that left a 14-year-old student unconscious inside a high school.
Janice Xie, a Grade 9 student at Hugh Boyd Secondary School, said she was beaten up in a school corridor by a 17-year-old Grade 11 student on Thursday, leaving her with head injuries.
During lunchtime, the victim reported she was walking down the stairs when the older student chased her down. He began punching her and insulting her after that.
“He called me a homophobic slur. He called me the ‘F’ slur and said all Asians are ugly and that he hates all Asians,” Xie was quoted as saying.
Her attacker had never interacted with her before the incident, she told CTV.
“He thought I was telling people he liked another girl when I didn’t,” she said. “And I don’t think I could’ve known anyway because I’ve never even spoken [sic] to him at all before that.”
Xie had a concussion and was brought to the hospital for treatment. She expressed her fear about returning to school after the incident.
Jordana Sorensen, the victim’s mother, rushed to the school after learning that Xie had passed out twice after being kicked and punched.
The victim’s father, Tim Sorensen, afterward discovered that his daughter had been repeatedly struck in the face while lying on the ground until other pupils interfered. He stated he was advised by local officials that the suspected attacker will be charged with assault.
The male student involved was seized at the scene and released to a legal guardian, according to Cpl. Ian Henderson.
“Due to privacy concerns and the confines of the Youth Criminal Justice Act, Richmond RCMP cannot release further details or the names of those involved,” Henderson wrote in a statement.
According to Henderson, information about the suspect was not disclosed to the media because of the Youth Criminal Justice Act, which specifies that information about a minor criminal must not be shared.
Xie said she has received support from friends and school counselors despite her fear of returning to school.
“Even though I was scared to go back, my friends made me feel better,” Xie shared. “Everyone was texting me… they all comforted me and said I can stay with you the whole day if you want and [they’ll] walk me to class and they’ll just stick by my side.”
The Richmond School District’s director of communications, David Sadler, told CBC that the school board is aware of its responsibility to foster a “positive climate and a safe, healthy environment.”
Every member of their school’s community, according to Sadler, must act in an “ethical, lawful manner that demonstrates respect” for others.
Susan Tran, a family friend, has started a GoFundMepage to help with Xie’s “trauma counseling, medical and physical therapy.” A part of the funds raised will be used to help Tran and her family “get justice for this horrendous act,” according to Tran.