Transgender student punched, bullied at Vancouver school, family says

Transgender student punched in Vancouver

VANCOUVER, Wash. -- A mother in Vancouver is pulling her transgender daughter out of school after bullying turned violent.

“It's very sad that she doesn't feel accepted for who she is,” said Carrie Smith.

She says the bullying at McLoughlin Middle School has been going on since last school year.

Smith says there were times when even teachers referred to her as a boy knowing she identified as female. On Wednesday, the bullying escalated.

“She was just being called a boy and disrespected about her genital parts.”

Smith says a male student punched her daughter multiple times.

“They were telling her to try and ignore it, try to deal with it. How could I ignore it if there's a big bruise on her cheek and her nose could be broken?" Smith asked.

That's when Smith's sister, Leslie Goodnight, decided to get the word out on Facebook. The post detailed the injuries and called out the school for not keeping her niece safe.

“It takes people being beat up, hurt, ridiculed to say, ‘hey wait a minute this is not ok,’” said Goodnight.

The school sent KGW a statement that reads in part, "administrators immediately took appropriate disciplinary action with the aggressor in this incident."

They also sent a letter sent home to parents saying "harassment is not acceptable and will not be tolerated."

To Goodnight, those are just empty words.

“I think those are blanket statements to appease everybody and they are not following the policies they say they are.”

To a worried mother the words mean even less.

“I'm going to find a different school she can go to where she can be safe," Smith said.

Vancouver Public Schools also sent KGW a copy of its district policy saying students are to be addressed according to their gender identity.

KGW wanted to ask the principal if that policy was being followed, but we were told he was unavailable.

© 2017 KGW-TV


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