Gay 8th-grader punched in school locker room says he’s hate crime victim

Student attacked at Alexandria Monroe High School

ALEXANDRIA, Ind. (WISH) — An eighth-grader attacked in a locker room at Alexandria-Monroe High School said he believed he was the victim of a hate crime.

The openly gay student, who requested not to be identified in this report, said he was targeted because of his sexual orientation.

Alexandria police confirmed Friday they were investigating the Tuesday morning incident but said they had “not uncovered any evidence” the victim’s orientation played a role in the attack.

“I was in the locker room after third period gym,” the victim told News 8. “And the guy who attacked me was standing at my locker, being creepy. He asked, ‘What are you doing?’ I was like, ‘I’m changing.’”

He identified the alleged aggressor as a 10th-grader who was in his gym class at the junior-senior high school. The two students were not friends and rarely interacted, the eighth-grader said.

“[The 10th-grader] started shoving me with his shoulder,” he told News 8. “He hit me two times in the head and then hit my face against the mirror. And then [he hit me] a couple more times to my face.”

Two students recorded video footage of the locker room incident on their phones, police said.

The students had taken their phones out — in violation of school policy — and appeared to be recording before the 10th-grader confronted him, according to the victim, leading him to believe the attack was planned.

The footage quickly circulated to the eighth-grader’s mother. She was on campus for a parent-teacher conference when a friend texted her a 4-second clip of the video.

“I thought I was going to throw up,” she said. “In the video, you see my son is backed up against the wall, kind of like a corner of the concrete wall by the mirror. This kid’s in front of him and there are kids on either side, blocking his escape. [The 10th-grader] just squats down and starts wailing on his face and head.”

The 4-second video clip, provided to News 8 by the victim’s mother, shows the student punching him four times.

“It all happened so fast,” the eighth-grader said. “The whole thing lasted under a minute.”

The assault ended when the 10th-grader was pulled off of him by another student, he said.

The victim sustained a broken nose, bruised eye and scratches behind his ear, his mother said.

“We are deeply troubled by Tuesday’s assault in the high school boys locker room,” Melissa Brisco, the superintendent of Alexandria Community Schools, said in a statement to News 8. “We want to assure our families and community that we will continue to work hard to provide a safe, caring and supportive learning environment for all our students.”

She declined further comment, citing their ongoing administrative investigation.

Authorities declined to provide incident reports to News 8.

No charges had been filed Friday night.