- Views & Opinions
Law enforcement officers in Hercules, Calif., on March 4 were investigating a report of an assault on a transgender teen using a high school bathroom.
The Associated Press reported that the 15-year-old student was leaving a boy’s bathroom at Hercules High School on March 3 when three teenagers pushed the victim inside a handicapped stall. There, the attackers physically and sexually assaulted the other teenager, Hercules police Detective Connie Van Putten said.
The teen, who identifies as male, was taken to a hospital for treatment and later on March 3 went home.
“He walked himself to the health center, and was obviously very upset when he talked to officers,” Van Putten told The AP. “He is doing as well as can be expected under the circumstances.”
A new California law — challenged by the Christian right — allows students in public schools to use the bathrooms that match the gender with which they identify. The teen had opted to use the boy’s bathroom.
Van Putten said the attackers reportedly made disparaging remarks to the student, allowing police to treat the incident as a hate crime.
Hercules High School is in the West Contra Costa County School District, which recently amended its hate crime policy to include transgender students. That move followed a report by another teenager at Hercules who said she was bullied by students.
The district also has dealt with prior sexual assaults, which led to the installation of surveillance cameras.
There are not surveillance cameras at Hercules.
As of mid-day on March 4, authorities had not identified any suspects in the case.