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HERCULES (CBS SF) – A transgender student at Hercules High School who reported being sexually assaulted in a school bathroom has admitted to making the story up, according to police.
Hercules Police said investigators were not able to substantiate the unidentified student’s claims, including the time frame of the incident and the lack of any injuries or marks on the student’s body.
The unidentified student, born as a female but identifies as male, admitted Tuesday to fabricating the entire story.
Investigators said Tuesday they are looking into possibly pursuing charges against the teen.
West Contra Costa Unified School District Board of Education President Charles Ramsey responded to news of the false claim Tuesday by saying he was “relieved it didn’t happen.”
“Yes, it is a cry for help and we need to be supportive and compassionate and reach out. This child is just 15-years-old,” Ramsey told KPIX 5. “We have to find out what’s going on in the home, what’s going on in their neighborhood, what’s going on with the fact that you are transgender. Are they suffering bullying? Was this a cry for help? We don’t want to minimize that.”
The 15-year-old ninth-grader, who identifies as male, had told police he was attacked by three boys as he was leaving a bathroom of the school, located at 1900 Refugio Valley Road, police said. Police were investigating the attack as a hate crime.
The incident had prompted an emergency meeting at the high school Tuesday morning involving top administrators. Hercules High has been the site of previous problems, including a Nov. 13 fight involving transgender student Jewlyes Gutierrez, 16, who identifies as female.
The student’s report on Monday also garnered a response from state Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco, who had authored recent legislation about transgender rights at schools.
Among other rights, Ammiano’s law, which went into effect in January, allows transgender students to use bathrooms according to the gender with which they identify.
A spokesman for Ammiano’s office, Carlos Alcala, on Tuesday echoed sentiments of relief.
However, he said after learning about the fabricating story, “I think it is very obvious that this does not change the reality that this exists out there.”
He continued, “Transgender students find it a very difficult world to get through.”
He said this incident shows that “we need to do what we can to support all students so they feel they can have safe and equal environments at their school.”
As to the possible arrest of the student, Alcala said Ammiano would not find that an appropriate response.
Ammiano initially had said that the purported suspects “must be found and they must face consequences and go through counseling.”
Similarly, Alcala said the student should receive counseling and “consequences instead of punishment.”
Additionally, he said regarding the administration’s handling of transgender and student safety, “the criticisms leveled at the school” have not been recanted.
“They are still an issue of concern,” he said.
Ammiano had said in a statement before the student’s admission was revealed, “We also have to hold the adults accountable for not providing a safe environment for all students.”
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