A video capturing an attack by a middle school student on a female classmate at Hazelbrook Middle School in Tualatin, Oregon, has gone viral, sparking outrage on social media. However, the incident has ignited a debate surrounding privacy, as speculations about the attacker’s gender identity emerged.
In the video, which has garnered over 10.5 million views, a student wearing a green and black coat, a white tank top, long hair, and glasses can be seen assaulting a female student in a school hallway. The assailant violently pulls the victim’s backpack, causing her head to slam into it and then proceeds to strike her repeatedly. The victim, sobbing and clearly in distress, eventually pleads for the assault to stop.
The video was initially shared on Twitter by Riley Gaines, an advocate against allowing transgender athletes in women’s sports. Social media users quickly began speculating about the attacker’s gender identity, despite a lack of official confirmation.
School officials have responded to the incident, stating that it is now the subject of a criminal investigation. The assailant has been arrested and faces assault charges, with the case being referred to the Washington County Juvenile Department.
Amidst the controversy, questions arose about the attacker’s gender identity, leading to concerns about privacy and the potential for misinformation. The school district cited federal privacy laws in declining to comment on the student’s gender identity, emphasizing the importance of respecting privacy rights.
The district’s board of education released a statement condemning the sharing of the video, highlighting that minors were exposed without their consent. They expressed concern about the spread of false information and discussions surrounding sexual identity, noting that these actions have contributed to the trauma experienced by individuals and families involved.
Tigard-Tualatin Superintendent Sue Rieke Smith defended the school’s discipline policies, which prioritize student growth and recovery. She opposed calls for a stricter “zero tolerance” policy, arguing that research shows such policies have not effectively curbed school violence and that a more balanced approach is needed, one that combines appropriate consequences with support for the student.