I should not be surprised that the Pacific Justice Institute has not spoken out against the attempt to keep a Texas trans teen's photo out of his high school yearbook…or the recent bullying incident in Hercules, CA. That is, except for the fact that I have expected the PJI to speak out in favor of the bullying by the administrator in the former case and the other students in the latter.
The PJI, along with the National Organization for Marriage, is the muscle behind the ballot initiative to halt implementation of California's AB1266, which provides equal access to educational programs to transgender students. The PJI and NOM think equality for transkids would be an awful thing…a sign of the coming of the apocalypse.
Hercules, CA? Most of us have never heard of it, I'm sure. Hercules is an East Bay city, a former company town, established to house the workers who assembled explosives used for much of the 20th Century. Hercules is 22% White, 19% African American. 46% Asian and 15% Hispanic/Latino.
And they have is a transgender girl in the high school. A cellphone video is circulating which appears to to involve mutual combat involving the transgender girl and three other girls. School officials are saying, however, that the fight was a direct result of bullying.
Police and school officials are investigating [the incident] as a possible hate crime.
According to school officials, the transgender student had complained about being bullied just two days before the incident…and the other students were warned.
They were told knock it off and then something transpired yesterday afternoon.
--Adam Taylor, West Contra County School District
Anyone familiar with the minds of teenagers would know that the bullies would retaliate by stepping up the bullying. And indeed, that is what they did…verbally assaulting the transgender teen about her gender identity. Eventually the transgender girl snapped and fought back physically, in the courtyard of Hercules High School.
After being under stressful situations day after day of being teased and talked about, obviously at some point you're going to explode.
--Charles Ramsey, West Contra County School Board
At one point, just about every member that was involved in the fight ends up on the ground. There was lots of hair pulling, hitting, slapping.
--Assistant Principal Ken Hickok
Reports are that nobody was seriously injured. Two students suffered scratches and one complained of a painful wrist.
Counsellors at the high school are hoping to turn the incident into something positive…a learning opportunity.
They're teenagers. Their frontal lobe is not completely developed. And I think that's where we come into play; to talk to them about tolerance and supporting and supporting each other.
--health services coordinator Rachel Delgado
All four 16-year old students face disciplinary action for fighting on campus. They have been suspended. And two of the three bullies want to press charges of battery, as does the transgender teen.
The Contra Costa County District Attorney's office is reviewing.
Local police aren't helping with their report:
Police said the fight began when a male student punched a female student.
We want parents and students to know that if anyone ever feels threatened or bullied or that they are in danger in any way, they can go to the principal or a teacher and let them know.
--Marin Trujillo, West Contra County Unified School District spokesperson
The Contra Costa Times adds to the problem by misgendering the transgender girl.