Two students from Knoxville, Tennessee have been suspended from their high school after being victims of a bullying incident. The details were shared by one of the students in a viral TikTok video.
Willum Watson posted to their TikTok account their situation at Fulton High School. After defending a trans woman from bullying, Watson and the girl were the ones punished and had police called on them.
The incident was shared by Watson online.
Watson says in the video:
"I'm being suspended right now at Fulton High School in Knoxville, Tennessee because I stuck up for a trans woman."
"I stuck up for a trans woman, and she has the freaking police outside."
According to Watson, the bullies were insulting and deadnaming the unnamed trans woman. Watson tried to defend her, but the assistant principal decided to punish Watson and the trans woman instead.
The school official told Watson he was being "threatening" and "combative". This is despite the bullies not receiving any of the same repercussions.
Police were called on the trans woman as shown in Watson's video.
Many online felt this was wrong.
Trans women, especially Black trans women, suffer high levels of violence and abuse. Reporting on the issue is strained, as many law enforcement agencies are inconsistent in how they track crimes that involve trans people.
Commenters online were quick to defend the student in the video, but also want to protect the woman being bullied.
Others wanted to call out the high school for the wrong reaction.
There's been an ongoing issue with school officials and how they handle trans students. And it's not been going well.
While some districts are doing the bare minimum to support trans students, there are still those who insist on trying to shout down any positive steps.