Upset dad wants hate crime charges issued against student who allegedly put rope around son’s neck

An angry father is now pushing to charge a student with hate crimes after he allegedly put a rope around his son's neck.

A classroom fight took a terrifying turn in an incident at Grassfield High School in Chesapeake. In December, according to an angry father, a student at the school used racial slurs and tied a rope around his son's neck.

Chesapeake Police stepped in and charged the accused student with simple assault and battery. However, the victim's father is pushing to have the incident classified as a hate crime.

The father claims the incident was extremely traumatic. He added that his son is forced to attend counseling to deal with it.

“My son shouldn’t have to deal with this,” said Sean Watt.

Watt went on to report that the incident happened while his son was in guitar class. He claims that the student was allegedly holding a rope and made worrying comments before adding racial slurs.

"There was a student there and he was talking about he was part of the KKK,” he said.

"My son approached him and was like 'you need to chill or relax.' 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 claims.

According to a written statement by Watt's son, he yanked the rope off and walked away. He then asked the teacher to go to another classroom before telling another teacher what happened which resulted in both boys being sent to the office.

When the school contacted Watt's they told him they were "proud of how his son handled" the situation. Police charged the student with simple assault and battery but Watt is not impressed.

“If that isn't a hate crime, what happened, then I don't know what is,” Watt said. “The only way I feel that racism can be eradicated, you have to confront it and call it what it is.”

He went on to question how the situation was handled by the school saying, "He was in the classroom. I would assume something like that, if you’re a teacher, you got to see it. It’s ridiculous. I don't know what happened to the other child. I don't know if he might try to come back and be upset at my son.”

A spokeswoman for the Chesapeake school district said the school had taken the appropriate action adding that they can not comment on individual student discipline. It remains unclear whether the first teacher in the classroom faced any disciplinary action.

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