Thursday, May 23, 2024
HomeeducationOregon middle school won't say whether student filmed attacking smaller girl is...

Oregon middle school won’t say whether student filmed attacking smaller girl is transgender

A middle school in Tualatin, Oregon, would not comment on whether a student who was seen beating up a smaller girl in a school hallway earlier this month is transgender.

Hazelbrook Middle School spokesperson Traci Rose told The Oregonian that federal law prohibited the school from discussing a student’s gender identity.

Video footage of the incident showed a larger student wearing girl’s clothes dragging a smaller girl classmate by her backpack in the hallway before pulling the victim’s hair and hitting her several times.

The attack left the victim in tears, and can be heard in the video saying, “I can’t breathe.” It is unclear what prompted the beating.

The superintendent defended the district’s discipline policy that explains how students can learn from their mistakes, especially for minor behavior violations, including bullying and physical contact that is not assault.

“Zero tolerance is antithetical to our work as educators,” she said Friday. “If it is safe for the victim and the school community as a whole to extend an opportunity for the student to relearn different behavior, that is what we do.”

But Rieke-Smith said that when an incident rises to an assault, there is “no tolerance,” adding that an immediate referral to law enforcement would then be made. She said that is what happened in the case of the first video.

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