Watch: Viral Video Shows 'Horrifying' Hate Speech from Florida High Schoolers

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Monday September 20, 2021

A viral video shows a group of high schoolers hurling anti-LGTBQ+ slurs during a rally against the school's Gay-Straight Alliance group. Witnesses described the moment as "shocking" and "horrifying," and compared it to scenes of hate from the civil rights movement half a century ago.

The hate-filled incident took place at a school in St. Johns County, Florida, reported local station News4Jax.

The students, whose images were blurred out, could be heard yelling "Two genders, f****t! There are two genders, f****t!" in the video, the news report said.

"Parents told News4Jax it happened Friday at Bartram Trail High School and demanded the school address what happened," the report said.

The video was sent to the news outlet "after circulating on Snapchat and other social media," the report said, going on to add that, according to witnesses, "a group of boys...gathered Friday [Sept. 17] to rally against the school's GSA."

Speaking to one parent, who asked to remain anonymous, the news channel heard the anti-LGTBQ+ rally described as "shocking" and "scary."

"It made me wonder what could possibly happen at this school to put students in danger," the parent went on to say, before saying that the scene was "akin to videos you would see in the 1960s, during the civil rights movement."

The parent added that she "also saw students stomping on a rainbow flag, a symbol of LGBTQ pride," News4Jax detailed.

Asked how she felt seeing the anti-gay rally, the parent said she was "Scared. I was very scared to see that kind of hate."

"To me, this could be described as a hate crime happening on the campus where my child is at school."

Another parent, Nancy Tray, said the incident "makes you question as a parent...if this is the right school for your kid," and observed that students need a safe environment in which to learn. "I think that we need to have no tolerance for this sort of behavior," Tray added.

A spokesperson for the school district told WJXT that the school system was "looking into this matter," the report added. "Meanwhile, it does already have an existing policy which strictly bans bullying and harassment."

Parents who captured the homophobic harassment on video didn't see any physical altercations take place. Still, the report said, they told the news channel they "turned the videos over to the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office," which says it has referred the case "to a sergeant in the youth resources division."

Watch the WJXT news clip below.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.