WASHINGTON — A 14-year-old Sikh boy was beaten up by a classmate in Washington state, with his father claiming that the victim was targeted as he is an Indian American, the media reported.
The incident happened Oct. 26 less than a block from Kentridge High School in Kent, Wash., where both the boys are students, KIRO-TV reported.
In the clip that was posted on mobile application Snapchat, a teenage boy followed the victim and punched him, knocking him to the ground. The victim was punched several more times as he tried to protect his head and crawl away.
The victim’s father said he felt pain each time he looked at the video.
“I am feeling so, so bad because this happened with my son. They beat him from the backside and hurt him too much,” the father, who declined to be identified, said. “This is a very big thing for me, here in America ... I can't explain or myself how I am feeling.”
The family said the incident exposed racial divisions in the city. However, school officials said the attack was not religiously or racially motivated, but was instead a continuation of an earlier classroom dispute.
The victim's parents denied that, saying their son didn't even know his attacker's name.
“He never interacted with this guy. He never knew his name,” said the victim's father.
Calls and messages from people in the region poured in expressing outrage about the incident. The Kent area is home to many Sikhs. The family said it wants peace for them and everyone.
“I don't want to see this again happen with my son or anyone else. I don't want to see this,” the boy's father said.
A Facebook thread about the incident generated more than 40 comments from parents and community members who said the teen who beat up the boy needs to be held accountable and people everywhere need to stand up to injustice.
According to kiro7.com, a spokesperson for Kent Schools said school officials met police Oct. 31 and the matter is under investigation.