14-year-old Transgender Teen Viciously Beaten In School Hallway

Security cameras show Kylie Perez being punched in the side of the head and kicked repeatedly.

A 14-year-old transgender student was attacked in the hallway of East Side High School in Newark, New Jersey. Police are investigating the assault as a possible hate crime.

School security cameras show freshman Kylie Perez walking down the hall last Tuesday when she’s suddenly punched in the side of the head and kicked repeatedly. Perez says one girl shouted “there’s the tranny” right before the attack began.

Seven suspects have reportedly been suspended as a result of an ongoing investigation.

“This act was particularly egregious because the victim is a young teen whose attackers assailed her without warning,” said Newark Mayor Ras Baraka. “[It] reinforces the importance of the role of our schools in educating students about the need to respect each other’s rights regardless of race, gender, or sexual orientation.”

Perez’s mother, Lillian Richards, says Tuesday’s incident was not the first. “Thank God she has a thick coat of skin. She kind of just brushes it off… Last week, every day was bad.”

Richards met with the mayor on Monday, the same day Newark Gay Pride rallied outside the school in a sign of support.

“I’m a parent and the one thing I hope that happens tomorrow is that Kylie Perez knows we exist,” said Newark Gay Pride president Sharronda “Love” Wheeler. “That she knows, for lack of a better term, that she has big brothers and sisters that support her through her transition.”

Dan Avery is a writer-editor who focuses on culture, breaking news and LGBT rights. His work has appeared in Newsweek, The New York Times, Time Out New York, The Advocate and elsewhere.