It has been almost a week since 14-year-old Janice Xie was set upon for no apparent reason by an older male student inside Hugh Boyd Secondary.
Janice was subjected to homophobic and racist slurs, before being beaten unconscious last Thursday lunchtime - right outside the school’s main office - after the boy mistakenly thought she had said something about another girl liking him.
Thankfully, some other students and a member of staff intervened to bring the vicious attack to a halt as the stricken Grade 9 girl lay helpless on the ground.
She was taken to hospital for treatment and the 17-year-old suspect was arrested shortly afterwards by police, before being released back into the care “of his guardian.” He remains suspended by the school while the RCMP investigation continues.
Talking from her home on Wednesday, Janice told the Richmond News how she has following doctors’ orders to rest and has been sleeping on and off most days since the attack.
“I was told I would heal faster (if she slept),” said the brave teenager.
Scared about going back to school
Unsurprisingly, Janice has not been back at school since the shocking incident, but she’s hoping to return next week so she doesn’t miss any more exams.
“I want to go back next week; I have to keep my marks up. I already missed one test.”
Janice said she has been comforted by a wave of support from her friends, but is wary about going back.
“It’s a little scary…I’m worried about the guy’s friends doing something. Some of his friends are saying I’m the one who started it.”
A spokesperson for the Richmond School District said the school administration “attended to this incident immediately” and that a “student immediately called the parents and notified the school administration that she had done so.”
Janice’s father, Tim Sorensen, said last week that his daughter is “more solid than I could imagine and she seems OK. But she is more like, ‘what happened?’ She wasn’t expecting this.”
He said his daughter does have some martial arts training and did try to fend him off, but she was caught totally off guard.
Sorensen said he trusts the police will deal with the matter accordingly, adding that he hopes it’s not “just going to be a slap on the wrist? A male hitting a female? What’s that about?”
Although confirming the arrest and investigation, Richmond RCMP said it couldn’t release any more details due privacy concerns and the confines of the Youth Criminal Justice Act.
GoFundMe started for family
Meanwhile, a friend of Janice’s family has set up a GoFundMe page to raise money to pay for “trauma counselling, medical and physical therapy and a lawyer to help get justice for this horrendous act.”
For more details, go to https://www.gofundme.com/f/14-year-old-assault-victim-needs-your-help