Student, 13, slammed to the ground by classmate in viral video

“I was scared for my life,” said Chad Sanford

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A disturbing video shows a teen being slammed to the ground in the middle of a school hallway. The middle school student, 13-year-old Chad Sandford, has suffered from physical and emotional trauma as a result. 

“I was scared for my life,” Sanford told NBC News. “I just kept thinking, ‘Why should I be here? Why are you beating me up for being myself? He put me through hell,” the teen said. 

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Last Friday, Sanford was walking the halls at Deerfield Beach Middle School in south Florida when an eighth grade student approached Sanford from behind, grabbed them by the legs, and slammed them to the ground, NBC News reported. 

Video released by WPLG shows 13 year-old Chad Sanford being attacked by classmates.

In the video, the yells and jeers of surrounding students can be heard and someone is seen kicking the sixth-grader as they lie on the floor. Sanford’s aunt, Raquel Showers, says the incident left the middle schooler with multiple headaches and suicidal thoughts. Sanford told NBC News that only one student offered to help. 

Multiple reports identify Sanford as transgender and WPLG reported that the 13-year-old has been bullied for their sexual orientation since last August. 

“He just stepped on my face, they were kicking and spitting on me and all that was a little clip of the video. They were screaming. They were saying, ‘We got that gay fa***t,’” Sanford told WPLG. “One day he embarrassed me in front of everybody. He stood on top of the stage and said to me, ‘I’m going to knock the gay out of him,’” Sanford added, referring to an unnamed bully. 

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Showers uses he/him pronouns to refer to her nephew.

“He wanted to kill himself because they keep bullying him,” Showers told WPLG. “Hearing that, it just makes me cry.” Showers also noted that Sanford used to be happy, but the teen’s demeanor has changed over the course of the school year. 

Showers says that the day before the attack, one of the bullies threatened Sanford, telling them they were going to “beat your gay a**”, FOX 35 reported.  According to Showers, Sanford informed a teacher and the principal about the threat, but the school did not take action. She has since pressed charges. 

“The school’s leadership is taking this incident seriously and is working with law enforcement in its investigation,” a Broward County school district spokesperson said in a statement. “Any students involved will face appropriate school disciplinary consequences in accordance with the codebook for student conduct.”

It is unclear if any disciplinary action has been taken by the school district against the students in question. Sanford’s grandmother, who is the teen’s legal guardian, has removed them from the school, WPLG reported. 

The National Suicide Prevention Hotline is a 24/7, toll free and confidential hotline available to anyone in crisis or emotional distress. To speak with a certified listener, call 1-800-273-8255

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