Activists rally for transgender Hopkins student after alleged attack

Students and LGBTQ activists gathered outside Hopkins High School Wednesday to demand justice and accountability in the alleged assault of a transgender student outside the bathroom last week.

Minnetonka police are investigating the incident, calling it a “possible hate crime,” city officials said in a statement.

The victim’s brother, speaking to reporters after advocates criticized the school district, said his sister was “hit” by a fellow student who used a homophobic slur.

The 17-year-old suffered a broken jaw and required dental surgery, his brother said.

Hannah Edwards, director of Transforming Families Minnesota, which organized the event, told the crowd that the school did not call an ambulance or file a police report that day, and that it was only ‘after the gathering was made public on Tuesday she informed the school community of the incident.

“Our trans youth deserve to be protected,” Edwards said. “They deserve love, they deserve safety and an equal opportunity to learn in their public schools.”

Upbeat, passionate songs played over a loudspeaker and adults in attendance applauded as dozens of students from the high school and a nearby middle school filed into the rally.

The Hopkins School District released a statement Wednesday saying its administration and Minnetonka police were investigating “an act of violence that occurred last Thursday involving a student who identifies as part of the LGBTQ+ community.”

District officials declined to comment further on what happened until the investigation is complete, but said the schools value diversity and inclusion.

“We will address any issues that compromise the safety and inclusiveness of our school environment,” the statement said. “We support and support any marginalized group, including our LGBTQ+ academics and staff. »

In its statement, the city said it received a 911 call regarding the incident on the day of the alleged assault. A transcript accompanying the call reveals the call came from a family member. Police have no record of the school district filing a report, Minnetonka spokesman Andrew Wittenborg said Wednesday.

“Details remain limited as the matter was reported to police after school was out,” the city statement said. “The case remains active and further information is not yet available.”

Rep. Leigh Finke, DFL-St. Paul, the Legislature’s first openly transgender member, said she often receives calls about transgender students being beaten. In this case, the victim’s family wanted to go public to encourage action and accountability, she said.

“This is a family that wants to use trauma for good.”

On Tuesday afternoon, Finke said she called local authorities and it seemed like no one wanted to step in to say or do anything at that time.

“Take this seriously,” Finke said of the rally’s goal. “It’s a problem in our community. It happens a lot.”

Edwards, pledging his support for the victim, told the rally: “You deserve safety and a life full of opportunity. You are beautiful just as you are… Know that we are here. know that we are watching you and we look forward to helping you do better so this never happens again.

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