Gender identity shields student who beat Pennsylvania middle school girl, say community members

Members of the North Penn School District (NPSD) are speaking out after school officials ignored warnings about plans by a newly-enrolled trans student to attack other students.

The protests come…

Members of the North Penn School District (NPSD) are speaking out after school officials ignored warnings about plans by a newly-enrolled trans student to attack other students.

The protests come as the result of a violent assault, which left one 12-year-old girl in a concussion protocol at a local hospital with head lacerations requiring staples.

The district has a long history of student threats and inappropriate behavior by teachers – a history critics say is a result of a board that has lost its way.

The 13-year-old trans student allegedly attacked the girl during lunch at the school cafeteria. 

The assailant, who also allegedly kept a “hit list” of students to attack, also reportedly shouted “I’m gonna murder you” repeatedly, while hitting the girl with a large, metal Stanley tumbler, said one student-eyewitness, also 12. 

“Wednesday morning, I went to the guidance counselor and told her since I was second on the hit list, knowing that there was something going to happen,” the 12-year-old witness told the local school board in a public meeting.  

She said a student guidance counselor twice told her there was nothing to worry about. 

The student subsequently addressed the board, demanding to know why her concerns about the plans of the trans student to assault others were ignored.  

“I don’t get how you couldn’t have stopped it,” the girl said in testimony to the board that was often tearful. “It was five hours from when I told you it’s gonna happen and when it happened. It was five hours.”

The girl said that “there was blood everywhere” and that students were forced to watch workers clean blood off of tables and the floor for 28 minutes without calling their parents or being able to leave the cafeteria. 

The alleged assailant was not taken into custody after the assault, but was only detained after attacking a sheriff’s deputy with a large water jug at the first juvenile court appearance, reported North Penn Now. 

NPSD parent Alyssa Santiago, who said her daughter was also on the reported “hit list,” claimed the alleged assailant is being protected because of his gender identity.

“I believe that’s why this child has been protected. If my husband were to hit me, he would be in jail that very, very day. And it would be reported as a male hitting a female. Why is that not being reported?” Santiago asked Philadelphia radio host Chris Stigall at AM 990.   

Santiago said she called the school’s guidance counselor the day before the assault because her daughter came home on a Monday with concerns she would be attacked by the student, who had just transferred into the school.   

“I called the school Tuesday morning. Spoke with the guidance counselor,” Santiago told Stigall. “Before I even mentioned the child’s name, the guidance counselor said, ‘You don’t even have to say anything else. I already know who you’re talking about.’”  

NPSD resident Yanni Lambros also accused the board of treating the assault differently because it involves a trans student. 

“This was a teenage boy who beat on a little girl… And if this kid was protected, simply because they were trans and not because of any other reason, that’s not cool. They have a violent past,” Lambros told the NPSD board.  

Santiago alleged the attacker had 34 disciplinary write-ups at their previous school.   

When Lambros was confronted with disapproving faces of the board over his comments, he called out one board member by name.  

“Don’t look at me like that, Mr. Fusco. You’re a father. What if that was your daughter? What if that was your daughter?” said Lambros.  

NPSD put out a statement on the assault denying the trans student had been expelled from a previous middle school. 

NPSD also said it will be contracting with a third-party investigator “to examine the totality of this incident.”  

But for many girls at NPSD, the examination comes too late.  

“And laying in bed last night I just kept repeating in my head that we shouldn’t have had to sit there and just watch that. Like watch them clean up her blood with a mop; watch her repeatedly yelling that ‘I’m gonna murder you’ and just hitting her with the Stanley,” the 12-year-old student told the NPSD board, as her tears flowed freely.