The family of a Richmond teen who was allegedly assaulted by another student at school said they hope there are consequences for the attacker’s actions.
Janice Xie, 14, was allegedly beaten up Thursday at Hugh Boyd Secondary by an older student during lunch.
Xie suffered a concussion and facial injuries. She was taken to hospital and has since been released.
On Tuesday, Richmond RCMP said it is investigating the incident.
Police did not release the names of the students involved but said a 14-year-old female student was taken to hospital for serious but non-life-threatening injuries, and that a 17-year-old male student was arrested by police and later released at the scene to his guardian.
“This is something you can’t take lightly,” said Xie’s father, Tim Sorensen. “You go to school and you think it’s a safe place, not a war zone.”
Xie, a Grade 9 student, said the other student came up to her at the start of lunch and pushed her from behind.
She said she tried to get away from him, but he later followed her, and attacked her because he mistakenly believed she had told another girl that he liked her.
“I told him I didn’t do anything to him,” said Xie. “But then I was on the ground and he kept on punching me.”
Sorensen said he was told that Xie hit the wall, and that the boy straddled her and punched and kicked her even when she was down.
Many students witnessed the incident. Some intervened and tried to pull the boy off Xie.
Xie remembers regaining consciousness, and asked a friend to call her mom.
The Richmond school district said a student called the parents and notified the school administration.
In a statement, the district said it is providing counseling support to the school community.
Sorensen said he doesn’t know what kind of consequences the student could face as he is considered a minor.
But the family hopes he gets more than just a slap on the wrist, noting suspension and court-ordered therapy should be required, not just community service.
“Even when I was unconscious, he still punched me,” said Xie. “That’s immature, especially since he’s going to be an adult soon. He should think before he acts.”
Richmond RCMP said it cannot release further details due to privacy concerns and the Youth Criminal Justice Act.
Xie said she felt scared and anxious about returning to school and possibly seeing the older student again, but feels ready to go back, thanks to the support of friends and her school counsellors.
Sorensen said his daughter still has to “take it easy” due to the concussion, but they are hoping she can return to school on a graduated basis starting next week.
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