Hundreds of people came to an anti-bullying rally in Mission Sunday to show their support for a transgender student who was attacked on school grounds by two girls last week.
Video of the assault circulated on social media last week that shows two girls hitting and kicking the victim. During the attack, onlookers can be heard cheering and none of them intervene.
Cpl. Jason Raaflaub tells Vancouver Is Awesome in a phone interview that the incident took place at Ecole Heritage Park Middle School in Mission, on Monday, Jan. 11.
The following day, Jan. 12, Raaflaub says the Mission RCMP began an investigation into the incident after the victim's mother attended to the detachment and provided an audio statement.
Two 14-year-old girls were arrested, and the RCMP is recommending one charge of Assault for one girl and one charge of Assault and Uttering Threats for the other. However, the investigation is still ongoing.
Raaflaub notes that this incident went beyond bullying and that the video shows an assault. But he adds that parents should talk to their children about bullying and also keep track of what their children see online: "Just be aware of where your kids are hanging around and what they are looking at online."
Have a look at some videos and photos from Sunday's rally in Mission.
On January a 11th, Michelle, a Transgender girl was beaten outside her school. Today Mission BC showed our love! #stopbullying♬ She Will Be Loved - Boyce Avenue
At a car rally today in Mission BC to show support for a trans sister who was harassed at school. Amazing turn out! Such a happy crowd. pic.twitter.com/w3afr87jwn— Claudia (@Claudi_not_rain) January 17, 2021
Already several hundred folks here at the car rally in #Mission in support of a #transgender teen that was assaulted at school. 5 rows of vehicles getting ready for the drive by. Very well-organized. I'm here dropping off cards from folks in my neighborhood. #bced pic.twitter.com/z0oMEQxnah— Carrie Bercic (@CarrieBercic) January 17, 2021
Delta Pride Society condemns “hate crime” at Mission school
The Delta Pride Society has spoken out to support a 14-year-old transgender student who was bullied and beaten last week at her school in Mission, resulting in the arrests of her two attackers.
“(We) were dismayed to learn of a horrific incident of bullying of a Mission LGBTQ teen,” the Delta Pride Society said in a written statement. “The Delta Pride Society condemns this act of hate and calls for it to be classed as what it was: a hate crime. We call on the Mission RCMP and (Mission School District) Superintendent (Angus) Wilson to continue their investigation of the bystanders who incited and encouraged the assault on this youth; and for Superintendent Wilson commit to - not just look into - additional staffing and mental health supports, and to ensure that this youth is able “to be safe and welcomed at school.
“The Delta Pride Society Board of Directors wants all Delta LGBTQ youth in our own community to know that you are loved and worthy just as you are right now. You are absolutely worthy of respect, of a safe and welcoming school and community environment. We support you and we are with you.”
---With files from the Delta Optimist.