You may not recognize Josie Ramon’s face or even her name, but if you’ve been following the wave of anti-Latinx harassment that’s accompanied Donald Trump’s political rise, there’s a good chance you’ve caught a glimpse of what the Michigan tween’s life was like in the days following the 2016 Presidential election.
Ramon, who is 12, was a student at Royal Oaks Middle School outside of Detroit during the final months of the presidential race. On November 9, just one day after Donald Trump was elected president, Ramon was sitting in the lunchroom at school when a group of students began chanting one of Trump’s oft-repeated campaign slogans: “Build the wall.”
Ramon, a seventh grader, pulled out her phone and began filming the scene, later sharing the footage with her mother, who in turn shared it with another student’s parent. That parent uploaded the short clip to Facebook, where it quickly went viral.
But for Ramon, the video’s viral reach didn’t solve the proliferation of Trump-inspired harassment—in many ways, it only made things worse. In a new interview with CNN, Ramon described how she was castigated and ostracized by her peers for having filmed their bad behavior.
“People would see me in the hallways and turn around and walk the other way,” she recalled to CNN. “I felt like an animal.”
According to Ramon, several of her classmates’ families even called for her expulsion for shooting the incriminating video in the first place. The atmosphere at school turned so toxic that, despite efforts by the school to address the incident and its impact on the student body, Ramon withdrew from Royal Oak and enrolled in public school instead.
Nevertheless, Ramon told CNN she has no regrets.
“If I had to go through this again to help everybody else who’s Mexican-American, I would do it a thousand million bajillion more times,” she said.
You can watch the full CNN interview with Ramon below: