Vancouver police investigate alleged assault on transgender girl

By Katie Gillespie, Columbian Education Reporter



The Vancouver Police Department is investigating a student’s alleged assault on a transgender girl at McLoughlin Middle School, the school district announced Friday.

Vancouver Public Schools Superintendent Steve Webb wrote a letter on the district’s website regarding an incident Wednesday in which a student allegedly punched 13-year-old Lindsey Smith in the face. Webb wrote that the aggressor was “disciplined immediately,” though what that amounts to is unknown due to student privacy laws. He said information about the incident was provided to police.

Vancouver police spokeswoman Kim Kapp said the school’s resource officer was writing a report on the incident, which when finished will be sent to the Clark County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office to determine whether criminal charges will be filed.

Lindsey’s aunt, Leslie Goodnight, wrote about the alleged attack on her Facebook page earlier this week. The post has been shared more than 13,000 times as of Friday evening.

In light of the response, Goodnight has asked people not to call the school or contact the principal to protest the school’s response, which she criticized as too lenient earlier this week.

“We are being heard,” she wrote.

Supporters of Lindsey gathered with the girl and her family in front of McLoughlin Middle School on Friday to show solidarity with the family after Goodnight described a pattern of ongoing bullying and harassment against the girl.