A trans student was assaulted at a Spokane, Wash., middle school. The incident, which shows another student punching the boy while others watched and laughed, was caught on video.
Ian Ring said that students at Salk Middle School began calling him anti-trans slurs a couple of weeks ago. He had hoped the students would eventually forget and move on.
“Earlier that day, they had said something about after school, but I didn’t really hear because I wasn’t paying attention to them,” Ring told local station KXLY. “And then I was walking towards the area where my bus picks up.”
“I turned around, he pushed me, and then I pushed him back. And he got closer, and he punched me. And then he continued from there, then I had taken his glasses off him to try and get him away,” Ring told station KREM.
The attack left Ring with marks and bruises on his face. Students shared the video of the attack across Snapchat.
Ring’s mother, Sara Ring, told KREM she believes her son was attacked because he’s trans.
“The conversation that we have always had about these kind of issues is to walk away, not make yourself a target, you know, especially when you're alone and not with family,” Sara Ring said. “He's gone to the mall a few times and was wearing sweaters that are promoting identity and you need to be very careful, like this is an issue and if your family's not there to protect you can't just be yourself without worrying about even adults, you know, coming after you.”
Ring’s family filed a police report, calling the attack a hate crime.
Spokane police told KREM they were taking the case seriously. While no student is in custody, authorities said one student had been charged with fourth-degree assault.
In a statement to the station, Spokane Public Schools said, "SPS takes any incident involving student conflict very seriously. We are investigating what has occurred and will work to partner with all parties involved."