A transgender teen was slammed to the ground in the hallway of her middle school in Florida as other students appeared to watch without coming to her aid, video of the incident showed.
Chad Sanford, 13, told NBC News on Wednesday that she was walking down the hallway of Deerfield Beach Middle School at the end of the school day when an older student started following her.
“I was scared for my life,” the sixth grader said.
The incident occurred about 2:30 p.m. ET on Friday at the Deerfield Beach Middle School, the Broward County Sheriff’s Office confirmed in a statement. It was unclear if authorities were investigating it as a hate crime.
In a video captured by a classmate, Sanford can be seen being picked up by a student and thrown to the ground in her school’s hallway as others appear to watch the scene unfold. The video appeared to show students surrounding Sanford as she was on the ground in a fetal position.
Attempts to reach the student who filmed the incident were unsuccessful Wednesday. NBC News has not been able to confirm what happened before the video started.
Sanford said only one student offered to help as she was taken to the principal’s office to report the incident.
Raquel Showers, Sanford’s aunt, said her niece suffered several headaches after the incident, adding that the damage on her mental health was more severe.
The violent encounter was a breaking point, she said, causing her to have suicidal thoughts.
“I just kept thinking, ‘Why should I be here? Why are you beating me up for being myself?’” she said. “He put me through hell.”
The Broward County Public Schools and Deerfield Beach Middle School did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Wednesday.
A Broward County Public Schools spokesperson told NBC Miami in a statement that the administration would review the incident.
"The school’s leadership is taking this incident seriously and is working with law enforcement in its investigation,” the school district said in a statement. “Any students involved will face appropriate school disciplinary consequences in accordance with the codebook for student conduct."
It was unclear if the student who physically and allegedly verbally harassed Sanford or the students who appeared to watch the incident would face any consequences.
Sanford said she has been bullied since last January. She added that she was most disappointed by the actions, or the lack thereof, of her school.
“They didn’t do anything,” she said. “I wish they, or anyone, did something.”
If you or someone you know is in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255, text HOME to 741741 or visit SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources for additional resources.