Trangender child, 12, attacked for wearing Pride flag to school in shocking video

<p>The disturbing incident took place at Seminole Middle School in Florida</p>

The disturbing incident took place at Seminole Middle School in Florida

Google streetview/Twitter

We have a long way to go in ensuring all pupils feel safe at school, as one viral video painfully demonstrates.

The clip, recorded at a school in Florida, purportedly shows a 12-year-old transgender student being attacked by fellow pupils for wearing a Pride flag.

The disturbing mobile phone footage was shared by a Twitter user claiming to be the child’s sister.

She tweeted that her sibling had been dragged to the ground, “stomped on, and covered in water” just for wearing the rainbow-coloured LGBT+ emblem.

The woman, called Ashleigh, called on viewers to call Leo’s school and demand “justice” for them.

The 45-second recording shows groups of students wrestling over the flag in an impassioned tug-of-war.

Leo’s dad, Benjamin Hoffman, told local media that the confrontation occurred after a kid grabbed their flag and threw it in the bin during a class picnic.

Leo retrieved it and wore it like a cape before their assailant grabbed it back and knocked them to the ground, Hoffman said.

“Leo was frightened, not so much for themselves but for their friends,” he told Bay News 9.

“Leo is very strong and would do anything to protect their friends.”

Benjamin Hoffman said he was left ‘speechless’ by footage of the attackBay News 9

The latest US Transgender survey, conducted in 2016, found that 78 per cent of transgender or non-binary school pupils, aged between five and 18, suffered harassment.

Indeed, the abuse was so severe that it led almost a sixth of students (15 per cent) to drop out of their school or college.

The study also find that a staggering 41 per cent of respondents reported attempting suicide compared to 1.6 per cent of the general population, with rates rising to 51 per cent for those who were bullied at school.

Leo’s father did not say that he would be moving his child to a different school but did confirm that he had kept them out of class for a few days in the wake of the traumatic incident.

Meanwhile, authorities at Seminole Middle School confirmed that a group of students had been suspended, with some of them moved to a different school.

The public information officer for Pinellas County Schools, Isabel Mascareñas, told Bay News 9: “We teach our students to accept and respect everyone for who they are.

“This is a district that values diversity and promotes inclusion.”

In response, Hoffman told the same outlet: “I hate to see someone’s kid expelled from school, but you can’t lay your hands on another person. It’s just not acceptable.”

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