A Philadelphia teenager is using a video of a beating, she said she suffered at the hands of four classmates, as a plea to end bullying.
Mia Chanel DeJesus, 16, said she was attacked and beaten unconscious in a locked washroom at a Philadelphia high school last month.
The beating was captured on video by one of the alleged attackers, and the group of girls posted the clip on social media, taunting DeJesus.
“When I saw it, I was embarrassed because people were reposting and laughing about it,” DeJesus told ABC News. “It just messed me up in my head.”
With some help from her mother, DeJesus decided to use the video to turn the table on her attackers and create a powerful anti-bullying message.
“I was assaulted by four girls bigger than me, just because they didn’t like me,” the teen said in the video. “I was tortured physically and emotionally and media-wise…
“I refuse to be held hostage by this video and my fear. I will not be a victim. I will post this video every day until something is done for all the people who continue to experience this type of humiliation.”
DeJesus’ video has been shared thousands of times using the hashtag #TeamMia.
“These girls want to be famous on social media for beating other girls let’s make an example of them and really make them famous for the cowards they are,” the teen’s mother wrote on Facebook.
According to ABC News, the school suspended the four girls and police are investigating one of the alleged attackers for aggravated assault. However, the school isn’t treating the attack as an act of bullying.
“We do not condone this behaviour and appropriate action was taken against the four students,” Raven Hill, Philadelphia School District spokesperson, told ABC News. “We would not characterize this as bullying, but rather a neighbourhood dispute that spilled over in the school building.”
DeJesus said she plans to transfer schools.
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