On Thursday, CBS 46 News reported that four teenagers in Loganville, Georgia have been arrested following an incident in which they allegedly "forc[ed] a 15-year-old male 9th grader into a bathroom closet for a prolonged period of time while being sprayed or doused with liquid cleaning products," all the while taunting him with homophobic slurs.
Only one of the suspects, 17-year-old Kelsey Juliana Hayes, has been identified and her mugshot released. The four of them face several charges including felony and misdemeanor false imprisonment, battery, and reckless conduct.
"While police reports state that the harassing comments were homophobic in nature, CBS46 does not know if the student victim in this case identifies with the LGBTQ community and would not expose the victim’s personal information without consent," reported Joyce Lupiani and Hayley Mason. "CBS46 reached out to Jeff Graham, the executive director of Georgia Equality, who the homophobic bullying allegations are troubling. 'Knowing that the administration did take action that is important, but this student that was so violently attacked needs to be protected,' Graham said."
"Student safety is a top priority and school officials are investigating the incident and working with law enforcement officials to ensure the district’s code of conduct and legal charges are appropriately enforced," said Loganville High School in a statement.
All of this comes as Republicans around the country have advanced legislation to prohibit teachers from even discussing LGBTQ issues, including Florida's so-called "Don't Say Gay" bill — which experts warn will not just put LGBTQ kids at risk for bullying but fail to educate straight kids properly, as well.