A transgender girl who recently transferred from the Macon School District to Pebblebrook High School in Cobb County was attacked last week.
The district was apparently slow to respond until the girl’s cousin posted video of the Nov. 9 incident to social media, according to 11 Alive.
The attack happened on Tuesday afternoon just before the last class of the day.
The 15-year-old student, Shantae Payne, told 11Alive she was “blindsided.”
“I didn’t know who they were,” she said.
During the attack, she said she lost consciousness, in a daze as someone helped her to the school nurse.
To add insult to injury, the attackers remained in school unpunished on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday after Tuesday’s attack. On Thursday, they threatened Payne with more violence, according to her guardian.
“On Thursday, she walks down the hall and one of the boys walks right by her and threatens her,” Shantae’s guardian, Blanche Payne said in the 11 Alive report. “Telling her that if she comes back to school ‘we’re going to drag her in the bathroom,’ they’re going to attack her.”
Cobb Schools investigating, finally
On Friday, the student’s cousin took matters into her own hands by posting a video of the incident to Twitter (trigger warning):
i need y’all to share this widely
my little cousin shantae was Jumped by a group of boys at her school on tuesday and the school has not taken any action to make it safe for her to go back
Pebblebrook High School in Georgia the school’s number is 770.819.2521 pic.twitter.com/NTsftmweD8
— anon (they/them) (@likelyprotestng) November 11, 2021
That’s when administrators told Shantae Payne that they are investigating. Officials confirmed as much on Saturday, though they are tight lipped on details.
“Administration is aware of the video and is investigating,” the prepared statement reads. “All involved students will be dealt with according to district policies. We are unable to provide further detail due to privacy laws which protect student criminal and discipline records.”
There is no word if the attackers, once identified, are subject to a police investigation and/or criminal charges. Shantae Payne’s guardian said police should arrest the attackers.
For her part, the student was resolute and determined to speak out about her experience.
“People like me are judged every day, we are targeted every day,” Shantae 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.”