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Oregon middle school attack: What we know about transgender student claims

An Oregon school district said it cannot disclose whether or not a middle school student who was recently filmed attacking another classmate is transgender.

A video of the violent incident at Hazelbrook Middle School in Tualatin, a suburb southwest of Portland, has gone viral on social media.

The video shows students walking through a hallway when one student suddenly grabs a girl by her backpack and throws her to the floor, before yanking her hair back-and-forth and smacking her repeatedly in the shoulder.

The assailant calls the girl a “b****,” smacks her a final time and walks off. “I’m sorry, I didn’t do anything,” the victim says, crying, before picking herself up and telling others that she can’t breathe.

The September 20 incident is now under criminal investigation, the Tigard-Tualatin School District and the Tualatin Police Department said in a joint press release that was released late last month.

The student allegedly responsible for the attack was arrested and is facing assault and harassment charges, according to the release. The case has been referred to the Washington County Juvenile Department.

“As this case proceeds through the juvenile court system, we are prohibited from sharing further information about he youth and the court process, as per Oregon records law concerning juveniles,” it added.

Video of the incident was circulated on social media by conservative commentators, who concluded without confirmation that the attacker is transgender.

A clip of the fight was recently shared by Riley Gaines, a former swimmer who has protested the inclusion of transgender athletes in women’s sports, on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, where it has amassed more than 10 million views.

“Trans male attacks female student in Oregon high school,” Gaines wrote. “This was certainly planned given multiple people were filming. All involved should be suspended and he should be charged with assault as a male.”

The assumption led to furious calls to the district and the school from people across the country, Oregon Live reported last week. It prompted the Tigard-Tualatin School Board to release a statement on Thursday evening, hitting out at those who circulated the video.

“Students and adults contributed to the sharing of this recording that exposed minors who were directly and indirectly involved without consent,” the statement said. “In addition, the sharing of this incident has spread across the country and beyond, inspiring false information and a focus and discourse on sexual identity. These acts have contributed to the trauma individuals and families are already experiencing.”

In last week’s press release, the school district also said it could not comment on any disciplinary action taken against the alleged assailant.

“We acknowledge the concerns raised by parents and community members regarding the safety of students at Hazelbrook Middle School,” it said. “Tigard-Tualatin School District (TSTD) prioritizes student safety above all else. While we cannot disclose the current status of the youth responsible for the attack in terms of enrollment, we assure students and parents that measures have been implemented to ensure their safety at Hazelbrook Middle School and all TTSD schools since the incident.”

Hazelbrook Middle School was evacuated on Friday after it received an email threat with claims of explosives on school grounds and a shooting, local news station KOIN reported.

Classes have been canceled for Monday, according to the school district’s website.

“Staff will report as scheduled,” a notice on the website says. “We look forward to welcoming your students back on Tuesday for a regular schedule.”

Newsweek has contacted the school district and the Tualatin Police Department for further comment via email.

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