As Pride month celebrates get underway nationwide, news of an end-of-school year event turning violent is just now being known. Bullies allegedly grabbed a rainbow Pride flag from a group of LGBTQ middle school students.
Leo Hoffman, 12 years old, is a student of Seminole Middle School in Largo, Fla.
He was dragged, “stomped on and covered in water,” according to sister Ashleigh.
She posted a video of the altercation on Twitter with the hashtag #justiceforleo.
The Pinellas County Sheriff has said that it is currently investigating and has no further comment.
Seminole Middle School says that those identified as the bullies have been suspended.
“Pinellas County Schools does not tolerate this behavior,” the school district said in a statement.
Advocates report that this is just one in a rash of nationwide violence against LGBTQ persons—especially against transgender, nonbinary, and other identities now being called 'gender diverse.'
Last month, an American Academy of Pediatrics study found that 1 in 10 teens in the Pittsburgh school system identify as 'gender diverse.'
While the study is not indicative of the nation, it provides insight into how much larger the number of gender diverse persons might be—and how prevalent anti-transgender bullying could truly be.