October 18, 2012 at 9:50 pm EST | by Steve Charing
Bullied Md. trans student suspended after fight

A 15-year-old transgender student at Patapsco Senior High School identified as Dee was suspended following a fight with another student, according to school officials.

The attack occurred on Oct. 11 at the Dundalk-area school. Dee was allegedly assaulted and had her hair pulled by a female student. She fought back, and during the altercation, the attacker allegedly called Dee a “tranny faggot.”

Fighting is a Category I offense in the Baltimore County Public Schools Code of Conduct, and suspension is one of the disciplinary options for the offense. Both students were immediately suspended in compliance with the policy.

The dispute stemmed from a drink-throwing incident in the cafeteria the day before in which, according to a source, Dee was defending a gay friend from ridicule.

Dee identified as a gay male named David while attending Golden Ring Middle School where he had been bullied constantly for being gay. During the summer before ninth grade, Dee came out as transgender, according to a county social worker.

Although there was a degree of acceptance, Dee always believed that she was viewed as “different” and that the attack resulted, in part, from that perspective, according to Cathi Coulson, a Towson-based licensed clinical social worker for 22 years who specializes in adolescents and has worked for years with Dee and her family. “I am amazed by her strength and courage to be true to herself,” Coulson said.

Charles Herndon, a spokesperson for Baltimore County Public Schools confirmed there was a fight involving Dee. “The school investigated the incident thoroughly and it appeared that sexual orientation did not provoke this incident,” he told the Blade.

A hearing has been scheduled for Oct. 19 to determine if the suspension should be extended and if expulsion will be considered as a result of Dee’s actions during the fight.

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