PLANO, Texas (NewsNation Now) — SeMarion Humphrey, 13, is dealing with the scars of what he thought would be a fun slumber party with friends.
His attorney says he had been bullied by a group of peers at school but did not think they would be at the party.
A disturbing video taken on the night of the party shows boys saying racial slurs, shooting him with BB guns, punching and slapping him, and appearing to show them making him drink urine.
“When you see something like that to a child, you’re horrified, you are outraged by it. It makes you cry,” said Minister Dominique Alexander of the social justice group Next Generation Network — an organization now representing SeMarion. “This was an act of hate. This was an act of torture to him, and at the end of the day, we cannot justify kids’ hate behavior of kids urinating in a cup and making somebody drink it. We cannot justify shooting kids with a BB gun and slapping their faces and hitting them with racial slur after racial slur.”
Plano Independent School District Superintendent Sara Bonser posted a video message, saying, while the bullying and harassment happened off-campus, the district is investigating.
“We care deeply about our students and our schools must be safe havens for our students,” said Bonser. “We are treating this situation with the utmost importance so that all students at Plano ISD feel safe and feel valued in our community.”
The Plano Police Department says it is also investigating, after the school resource officer took a report on March 3.
“The Detective and School Resource Officer will continue to work with Plano ISD officials to conduct a full and thorough investigation in an effort to identify any and criminal offenses that might have occurred during and prior to this incident,” the department said.
Now, SeMarion’s advocates are looking at legal options and working with the Texas legislature to demand districts are required to implement policies around cyber bullying.
SeMarion has now received an outpouring of support — even from movie star Michael B. Jordan.
“Just seeing his smile, just seeing the joy and seeing the fact that he’s on a trajectory of getting past this situation … I hope that this becomes what we call “SeMarion’s voice” — a voice for him and a voice for so many victims,” said Alexander.
SeMarion’s mother said she didn’t find out about what happened until two weeks later — after the video had been passed around the school. She said in a news conference that he had gone to trusted adults affiliated with the school for months to tell them he was being harrassed and bullied.