NKC High School student says she was beaten on campus because of her sexual orientation

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NORTH KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A 15-year-old girl says she was assaulted on campus because she’s gay. Police said it happened at North Kansas City High School.

The girl’s mother, Victoria Johnson, said not only was her daughter assaulted, but the school isn’t doing enough to address it.

Laci Johnson told FOX4 she came out to some of her friends months ago, and they quickly turned into enemies. However, she never expected when she went to school on Tuesday, Feb. 4, that she would be coming home with a concussion.

“Why should somebody be harassed for who they like or who they love?” Laci said. “It’s not anybody’s business.”

On Tuesday, the 15-year-old saw a video text that said the boy in the video and his girlfriend wanted to beat her. While waiting for the bus, she called him homophobic. Then, she said she was pushed to the ground and punched in the head over and over. A passing by car caught the assault on camera.

“She was so violently attacked that I think I was in shock,” Johnson said. “I actually don’t think I’ve ever witnessed a male hit a female in the manner that I watched my daughter be beat.”

Victoria said her husband went immediately to the school after she got home and told them what happened. He said he tried show them the video, but he was turned away by the assistant principal, Ashley Smith.

“He wanted to give her information about his daughter, their student, and she said, ‘Well, it doesn’t matter,'” Johnson said. “‘The students are gone. Nothing is going to be done tonight.'”

Then they went to the North Kansas City Police Department to file a report, and finally NKC Hospital, where Laci was diagnosed with a concussion. Johnson said the school hasn’t communicated with her at all about the investigation into her daughter’s attack.

The school was closed on Wednesday for the Kansas City Chiefs Championship Parade, and they didn’t hear back from anyone even when they left a message with the school’s administrative office. Johnson said she received a call from Smith asking what she was going to do with her daughter. Johnson said she didn’t understand what the comment meant, and that her daughter was recovering from her injuries.

She also said her daughter was cleared to go back to school with medical restrictions on the Feb. 5, but she doesn’t feel comfortable sending Laci back to school until she knows her daughter would be safe.

“I sent my daughter in the morning thinking she would be safe, and before she was even off school property, she was assaulted for the first time in her life,” Johnson said.

The North Kansas City School District said in a statement:

“NKC Schools is aware of a troubling incident involving two North Kansas City High School students outside the school after dismissal February 4, 2020. We are greatly disturbed by this incident as it does not reflect the district’s expectation to provide a safe, inclusive learning environment for all students.

“After being notified of the situation, staff immediately responded. Several administrators have since communicated with involved students and their families to address all questions and concerns. We are also working with law enforcement on this matter and disciplinary action has been taken in accordance with Board policy. The safety and security of students is of utmost importance. To provide for the safe return of the student involved, a customized plan will be implemented with direct input from the student and family.

“NKC Schools strives to provide a safe learning environment for every student. We have developed a culture of equity and inclusion with the expectation of mutual respect. Anything less will not be tolerated.

“It’s at the point that the way he beat me was emotionally damaging, and physically, but mostly, the reason why he did it was what hurts me the most,” Laci said.

The North Kansas City Police Department says they have identified the student. They forwarded their findings to the Clay County Juvenile Office, who will decide if and what charges the boy would face.

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