A Grade 12 student at Carbonear Collegiate is accusing his high school administration of turning a blind eye toward repeated incidents of harassment and bullying.
Alex Mercer's mother shared a video of the latest incident — one in which he was the target — on social media in an effort to stop the ongoing problem, which he says the school's principal won't do anything about.
The video shows Mercer trying to defend himself while another student yells at him.
"I had nowhere to run," Mercer told CBC's On The Go. Instead, he lifted his hands and asked the other student to leave him alone. "I'm not a person to fight. I don't like fighting."
According to Mercer, his friends looked on but couldn't do anything.
"They couldn't [help]," he said. "Everyone is scared of that group of people."
Mercer said it's the second time in two weeks he's been confronted by the same group. He says he's a target because he's not shy about expressing himself.
"I like doing my nails, I like doing my makeup, I like dyeing my hair," he said.
He has also asked the administration to put an end to the harassment, he added, but according to Mercer and his mother, Chris, they're not doing anything about it.
Principal won't help, mom says
Despite multiple emails back and forth, Chris says, the principal has just called the incidents "teenage drama."
The Newfoundland and Labrador English School District declined to comment on specifics, citing privacy legislation. In a statement, the board said it takes any allegation of bullying seriously and "will not tolerate abuse and/or discrimination of any kind."
But for Mercer, his attempts to end harassment have led nowhere, leaving the senior hesitant to return to the school. He's losing sleep and battling anxiety, his mother said.
The bullying continues off school grounds in the form of text and Snapchat messages, she added: the kids responsible tell Mercer to drink bleach or "go choke and die."
"They say I talk funny," Mercer said, added he's being picked on because of the way he walks, the way he looks and the way he presents himself.
"They make fun of my sexuality," he said. "It takes a mental drain on me because I'm just trying to go to school and get my education and I can't even do that now."
Mercer said he doesn't need retribution, but just wants everyone to get along and feel safe going to class.
"I'm hoping there will be … an actual safety protocol that will be followed and every student will be respected."
His mother wants to take it a step further.
"There needs to be a constant police presence," she said.
"They're like dogs with a bone.… This has gone on far too long."