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Rally held at Hopkins High School after alleged attack on transgender student

Hopkins community rallies around trans student injured in potential hate crime
Hopkins community rallies around trans student injured in potential hate crime 02:07

MINNETONKA, Minn. — Dozens rallied Wednesday outside Hopkins High School after an alleged attack that Minnetonka police are investigating as a possible hate crime.

Family members tell WCCO 17-year-old Cobalt Sovereign, a transgender girl and junior at the school, was first called a homophobic slur before she was attacked outside of a bathroom on Thursday. Sovereign uses she/they pronouns, according to their family.

Their dad took her to the hospital where doctors told the family she had several breaks in their jaw and fractured teeth. Their family says she's recovering but still can't eat solid foods.  

Multiple LGBTQIA+ family support groups, including the Queer Equity Institute and Transforming Families, showed their support on Wednesday while also expressing frustration at the district, alleging they tried to keep the attack under wraps.

Their older brother, Wilder Sovereign, says his family is worried she could have a traumatic brain injury.

"Frankly, she's experienced like glimmers of transphobia before this just naturally, as most if not all trans people do," said Wilder Sovereign. "But it's never been this bad. It's never gone to the point of full-on assault. So I'm disgusted by that facet of our community."

In a letter to families, Principal Crystal Ballard said the attack has not yet been officially deemed a hate crime. She went on to say even the thought of an attack of this nature can be traumatizing, and she pledges that the district will work to create safe spaces for LGBTQIA+ families staff and students.   


District officials released a statement, saying in part, "Hopkins Public Schools is an inclusive community that values diversity and inclusion." They also said they will address "any issues that compromise safety and inclusivity in our school environment."

In a letter to parents in the district, officials added they'll be working with police to "minimize any impacts to the school day during the rally" and while they are not directly involved in organizing it, they said they are "in support of a rally that brings attention to what is not right in the world."

District officials tell WCCO they cannot share any more information because of student privacy laws, including the name of the other student involved or if any disciplinary action has already been taken.  

Police say they were notified "hours after the assault is said to have taken place," and the investigation is ongoing.

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