Middle school student targeted by hate speech at SE Portland sch - KPTV - FOX 12

Middle school student targeted by hate speech at SE Portland school bus stop

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

A southeast Portland middle school student was the target of hate speech Thursday when two men yelled racial slurs at her while she waited at a bus stop.

The student was waiting at the bus stop on Southeast Division and Southeast 28th Place when the incident occurred.

Leaders at Hosford Middle School say they are concerned because this isn't the first time something like this has happened.

"We had the situation on the MAX recently that involved teenagers and it's really disturbing. We're seeing this rise of racist speech and racist action across the country," said Principal Kristyn Westphal.

Westphal is concerned for one of her students and the larger school community after a difficult day Thursday.

On Thursday morning, Westphal says staff saw a handful of racist posters up in the neighborhood and helped take them down. Then after school, one of her students of color was waiting at a public bus stop near campus when two white men walking by yelled racist slurs at the student.

"They actually followed the student and were using the n-word and trying to engage the person in fighting with them," said Westphal

Westphal says other people witnessed the verbal attack and a police report has been filed.

Going forward, there will be extra security in the area and administrators will be stationed near the bus stop for the rest of the school year.

Counselors are also available, and Hosford parents like Ken Bryan have been notified.

"It's scary. It's concerning because it brings home that in what felt like a safe community is not as safe as we really thought for everybody. Obviously, my son is Caucasian and isn't a target, but his friends and people we live with are and that's a scary thing," said Bryan. 

Anyone who witnessed the incident, or has any information that might help police find the two men involved, is asked to call Portland police.

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