Transgender student ‘attacked and sexually assaulted in high school bathroom’ admits story was false

A transgender teenager who said he was beaten and sexually assaulted in a California high school bathroom has admitted his story was made up, police said yesterday.

The 15-year-old student at Hercules Middle/High School “admitted he fabricated the whole story” during an interview with a detective, Hercules police Detective Connie Van Putten said.

The teenager, who is biologically female but identifies as male, told officers he was leaving a boy’s bathroom at the school Monday morning when three other boys pushed him inside a large stall and attacked him.
Mario Trujillo, spokesman for the West Contra Costa Unified School District, said school officials are less concerned with punishing the student than making sure he gets the support he needs to feel safe and comfortable at school.

“We recognise that life is complicated, and at the end of the day this is a request for help,” Trujillo said.

The student’s made-up account came as school districts across California are bringing their policies into compliance with a law that took effect January 1 guaranteeing students the right to use the bathrooms and locker rooms that match the gender with which they identify.

Advocates who fought for the law said the fact that the Hercules teen’s story appeared to be untrue does not minimise the harassment that transgender students like him routinely face and the need for schools to work hard to address it.

“There is still an important piece of the story, which is that trans youths do face elevated levels of bullying and violence including physical assaults at school,” said Carolyn Laub, executive director of the Gay-Straight Alliance Network.

“Even if this particular story isn’t true, the school’s response, to put in place plans for bringing the community together and addressing school safety and climate, is a good outcome.”