‘This was brutal’: Spokane mom says fear came true when transgender son was beaten up

SPOKANE, Wash.– A local mom says her son was the victim of a hate crime at Salk Middle School.

Sara Ring says her son, Ian, was beaten up because he’s transgender.

Ian says it started two weeks ago when several students called him slurs. He says the slurs were directed toward his transition as a boy. He was hoping they’d forget, but they didn’t.

“Earlier that day, they had said something about after school, but I didn’t really hear because I wasn’t paying attention to them. And then I was walking towards the area where my bus picks up,” he said.

Ian says the initial encounter escalated to a fight that took place after school.

“He pushed me and then he started getting close to me, so I tried pushing him back and then he hit me.”

Ian’s mom says her son took the other kid’s glasses. Ian says he did that to try and get him off. But, it didn’t work.

“He just got more aggressive. And then he ended up taking his jacket off, and continuing.”

Sara said Ian doesn’t rememebr what happened after the jacket came off.

Another student took a video of the fight and shared it across Snapchat.

For Sara, this was a fear that came true.

“This was brutal, and if this is the kind of behavior is going to exhibit towards my child, I can’t imagine going forward though what’s going to happen. I need these children to be held accountable, and their parents to be held accountable,” Sara said.

Ian wears braces and has a loose tooth because of the fight. He has bruises on his face and neck. His mom says he is slurring his speech.

The family filed a police report and is calling this a hate crime against their son. Ian has been transitioning for more than a year. The Spokane Police Department says it has probable cause to forward the case to the prosecutor for the possible assault charges. It’s still possible it could be charged as a hate crime.

“If it is deemed that the person was targeted or assaulted because of them identifying in one of those protected classes, if that was the motivation for it, then additional charges of hate crime can be added,” said Cpl. Nick Briggs with SPD.

Spokane Public Schools says it is also looking into what happened.

“SPS takes any incident involving student conflict very seriously. We are investigating what has occurred and will work to partner with all parties involved,” the school district said.