DIXON, Ill. (WTVO) — Dixon High School is facing backlash after an alleged hate crime against a gay student occurred this week.

Video of the incident taken by a bystander shows a student attacking 15-year-old Kayden Certer in a hallway, slamming his head into a locker, and then beating him with his fists.

Witnesses say the student was attacked for being gay.

Dixon Public Schools released a statement describing the incident as “disturbing,” and said bullying and violence will not be tolerated.

A group of protesters hosted a demonstration outside the school Friday afternoon, calling on administrators to create a safe environment for all students.

“It was just heartbreaking. It was horrifying. No child should have to go through that and that was the last straw for us,” said rally organizer Stephanie Glenn. “People should not be afraid to go to school. They deserve a proper education, and people should not be afraid to be who they are.”

According to WQAD, Kayden’s mom, Megin Steeb, says the police department told her the offender would receive a citation and a ticket. She then shared the video of the attack online, where it went viral.

Dixon Police subsequently passed the investigation on to the Lee County State’s Attorney.