Police investigating alleged assault on transgender student inside Hopkins High

A person raises their hand as they lead a chant in front of a crowd
Hopkins High School graduate and Trans Intersex Gender-Expansive Revolutionary Resources and Services (TIGERRS) advocate Ly Baumgardt leads chants of “protect trans kids” during a rally outside Hopkins High School on Wednesday after a 17-year-old student was allegedly attacked at the school on May 30.
Ben Hovland | MPR News

Students and LGBTQ+ advocates rallied outside Hopkins High School Wednesday in support of a 17-year-old transgender student allegedly assaulted inside the school last week. 

Police confirmed they are investigating the incident “as a possible hate crime,” although “details  remain limited as the case was reported to police hours after the assault is said to have taken place,” said a spokesperson for the Minnetonka Police Department. The school is located in Minnetonka.

A person holds a sign that reads "Keep trans kids safe!"
Students and community members rally outside Hopkins High School on Wednesday.
Ben Hovland | MPR News

In a letter to families Tuesday, Hopkins High School principal Crystal Ballard said school leaders were unable to comment until the police investigation is complete.

“While we are aware that allegations of a hate crime have surfaced regarding this incident, it’s important to know that the incident has not been officially deemed a hate crime as the details are still being investigated,” Ballard wrote. 

Students and staff walk down a sidewalk
Students and faculty from Hopkins Middle School arrive at a rally supporting transgender students outside Hopkins High School on Wednesday.
Ben Hovland | MPR News

The student’s family believes the incident was motivated by anti-LGBTQ+ bias. 

In a phone conversation before the rally, parent Ashley Sovereign told MPR News her child was punched in the face by another student after being confronted by several students for using the boys bathroom when the gender-inclusive restroom was occupied.

Sovereign said her child suffered a concussion, as well as a broken jaw and teeth. She added that her teen did not know the student who threw the punch and that students had been using an anti-LGBTQ+ slur before the punch was thrown. Sovereign said the family has been frustrated by the district’s “radio silence” around the incident.

In an email, a spokesperson for Hopkins Public Schools said the protocol is that police are used to de-escalate and that the decision to press charges is decided by the family. They added that per the school’s discipline policy, anyone who engages in fighting is immediately suspended. 

A woman speaks into a mic as a pride flag waves above her
Rep. Leigh Finke addresses students and community members during the Wednesday rally.
Ben Hovland | MPR News

Rep. Leigh Finke, DFL-St. Paul, the state’s first transgender state representative, was at the rally Wednesday.

Finke called it “a deeply, deeply common and disturbing pattern in the United States that our community of trans people are targeted, youth especially are targeted, and doubly especially when we are using the bathroom. The simplest act manageable for a human is to just pee in peace.”