The father of a Chesapeake, Va., high school student wants the student accused of assaulting his child to be charged with a hate crime.
Sean Watt told WAVY-TV Monday, Jan. 7, that his son’s alleged assaulter being charged with simple battery wasn’t enough to speak to the way his son was targeted in December.
“My son shouldn’t have to deal with this,” Watt said of the fallout over the incident. The altercation occurred while his son was in guitar class at Grassfield High School before winter break last month.
“There was a student there and he was talking about he was part of the KKK,” he says. Watts noted the classmate was holding a rope and followed up the statement by saying a racial slur. According to his son’s statement, it was “f— n—ers.”
“My son approached him and was like ‘you need to chill or relax,’” Watt recalls. “The student hit him with the rope first and then my son grabbed him and you know, he put him down and then he left him alone. When he turned around to walk away, that’s when the rope came around his neck.”
Watt’s son said in a statement that after that he yanked the rope from his neck and threw it after tearing the buttons off his classmate’s shirt. He went and sat down on the opposite side of the room before asking to go to the chorus room. He informed the chorus instructor about what happened, and both boys were ultimately sent to the office.
“They told me they were proud of the way my son handled himself,” Watt said of what school administrators said upon getting in touch with him.
Although police charged the student with simple assault and battery on Dec. 18, Watt is upset about the charge not being harsher and reflective of the racism involved.