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‘Traumatised’ teen ‘stuck at home like a prisoner’ after alleged anti-LGBT+ hate attack

Maggie Baska July 2, 2021
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West Yorkshire Police hate crime gay teen Brooksbank School

West Yorkshire Police are investigating a possible hate crime against a gay teen at Brooksbank School in Calderdale, near Halifax, West Yorkshire. (Google Maps)

Police are investigating an alleged hate incident after a gay teenager said they were attacked and called a transphobic slur at school.

Emily Wilkinson-Quinn, 14, was left “completely traumatised” following the attack on 20 May, according to their mum Natasha-Jayne Wilkinson.

Emily told The Yorkshire Post that a classmate followed them into their classroom and poured hand sanitiser over their face and clothes.

According to Metro, the boy called Emily a “f*****g t****y” while he carried out the attack.

Natasha-Jayne said that Emily has been bullied ever since they came out as gay last year.

The hand sanitiser incident was a “targeted attack”, she said.

“There were so many witnesses – and there is no doubt that it was gender motivated,” she said.

Natasha-Jayne believes the bully has gotten away scot-free while Emily is “stuck at home like a prisoner”, afraid to go back to school.

The parent has accused the school of not caring, telling the Post that she heard about the incident from another parent.

She subsequently involved the police, saying this was the “first of many times the school have been dismissive”.

The student behind the attack was reportedly only identified after a week, and was suspended for just five days.

Natasha-Jayne told The Yorkshire Post that the family believed the student had been “permanently excluded until Emily passed him in the break room”.

Emily, meanwhile, “desperately wants to go back to school” because they love learning and miss their friends, but they “just don’t feel safe” after the attack.

They added that they feel like they’re “the one being punished” because they are staying away from school.

“When it happened, I was upset, and it made me feel very vulnerable with so many of my classmates watching,” Emily recalled. “It made me feel degraded.”

They continued: “I’m not an angry person, but I feel so angry about what happened and the fact that nobody at the school seems to care.”

Natasha-Jayne said she has complained to the school’s principal and governing body, and the complaint has been passed onto the Department for Education due to slow response times.

West Yorkshire Police are investigating the attack at Brooksbank School as a possible hate crime. A police spokesperson told The Yorkshire Post: “Police are investigating following reports of a hate incident at a school in Calderdale, which occurred on Thursday 20th May.

“Officers attended the school and active enquiries into the incident are ongoing.

“A hate crime co-ordinator has been in regular contact with the victim and family to offer support following the incident.”

A spokesperson for the Brooksbank School’s headteacher said: “The school is unable lawfully, and does not propose, to comment on an entirely confidential matter which involves the welfare of children.”

Related topics: Homophobia, transphobia

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