Transgender student says she was punched, bullied by classmate a - KPTV - FOX 12

Transgender student says she was punched, bullied by classmate at Vancouver school

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Lindsey Smith (KPTV) Lindsey Smith (KPTV)
(Photo: Leslie Goodnight) (Photo: Leslie Goodnight)

A 13-year-old transgender student says she was punched and bullied at her middle school in Vancouver. 

The school district told FOX 12 that they are taking immediate action, but the student's mother says she's had enough.

A letter from the principal at McLoughlin Middle School went out to parents this week, it says the school is deeply concerned and that the aggressor in this incident was immediately disciplined but they would not go into specifics.

Meanwhile, the student, Lindsey Smith says she once felt trapped by her gender, but now, she feels targeted for being herself.

"I'm 13, I'm transgender. I've been this way my whole life. It's not a decision, it's the way I was born," said Lindsey.

Lindsey says she was born a boy, but always identified as a girl.

"Some people don't accept me and talk about me, they just talk about me," said Lindsey.

"It's really heartbreaking because I want her only worries to be, does this lip stick go with my outfit? Like any other girl," said Lindsey's aunt, Leslie Goodnight. "I don't want it to be well is today the day I get beat up, or is the teacher going to put me down and make me humiliated."

But Lindsey says bullying and humiliation is something she deals with on a daily basis. And she says it reached a new violent level this week.

Lindsey says a boy making fun of her at school punched her twice.

"He punched me in the face, right here and right here," Lindsey said pointing out where a fellow student hit her. "My nose was bleeding. I was holding my nose. The principal told me to ignore it and try not to let it ruin my day."

"My heart started beating and I started crying. She had texted me, 'mom, a kid punched me in the face. I think my nose is broken and it's bleeding really bad,'" said Lindsey's mom, Carrie Smith.

The school district says the student has been disciplined and that any form of harassment will not be tolerated.

But Lindsey says the problem doesn't stop with classmates. She says she's parted ways from her birth name, Lorenzo. But not everyone else has.

"There's been a couple times where teachers call me by my birth name in front of the class and disrespect me," said Lindsey.

The school district says that's not true, stating that "on occasion substitute teachers have used the student's legal name when taking attendance simply because they didn't know not to."

Meanwhile, Lindsey's story has gone viral.

"I'm shocked by how fast it's been spread around," Lindsey said.

Leslie took to social media, posting photos of Lindsey's bruise. As of Thursday, the post has been shared more than 8,000 times.

"People are born differently. If people were born the same there would be no point in living," said Lindsey.

The family says they will be transferring Lindsey to a different school.

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