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Officials: Brawl between bullies, transgender student possible hate crime

Friday, November 15, 2013
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HERCULES, Calif. — A transgender student at a California high school said she was assaulted by three other girls in a transphobic attack captured on cell phone video.

Hercules-High-School-CAAnd while it may appear to be mutual combat in the video, school officials say the fight was a direct result of bullying, and that police and school officials are investigating it as a possible hate crime, reports KGO-TV.

The Hercules High School student said the girls had been verbally harassing her about her gender identity prior to the attack Wednesday afternoon in an outdoor courtyard.

School officials said the transgender student, who complained to school offices about the bullying just two days earlier, had initiated the physical contact, but only after she was again verbally assaulted.

“At one point, just about every member that was involved in the fight ends up on the ground,” Assistant Principal Ken Hickok said. “There was lots of hair pulling, hitting, slapping,” but no serious injuries were reported.

KGO-TV reports:

All four students involved face possible disciplinary action, including suspension or expulsion, for the fight.

School administrators said they hope that talking about the incident will lead to heightened awareness and greater tolerance on campus.

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