Trans middle schooler's 40-person 'hit list' discovered—school admin calls for 'empathy' for the student in Massachusetts

The hit list included the names of more than 40 students and staff members at Watertown Middle School near Boston.

Katie Daviscourt Seattle WA

Massachusetts school officials responded to a transgender student's "hit list" by creating an LGBTQ affinity group and conducting anti-bias training.  

The hit list included the names of 40 students and staff members at Watertown Middle School near Boston. 

Instead of taking disciplinary action against the trans-identified student for creating the threat, school officials called for "empathy for the creator" of the list, according to internal emails obtained through a public records request, the Daily Mail reports

In January, a faculty member overheard students talking about a "hit list" created by a transgender student at Watertown Middle School. The staff member searched the students' Chromebook and found a document, which was titled "hit list." 

The school notified the police about the incident and interviewed the student in question. 

Following the investigation, Watertown Public Schools Superintendent Dede Galdston issued a statement about the hit list, claiming that officials determined there was "no credible threat" to student's safety, which did not sit well with anxious parents. 

"We are grateful to our staff for quickly assessing this situation," said Galdston, who claimed that the student did not plan on carrying out acts of violence and was simply "expressing their frustration on paper." 

Galdston informed parents that the student would be returned to the classroom, claiming that the student wanted to "make amends" with the individuals featured on the hit list. 

Parents of students named on the list became irate after school officials explained that they wanted to take a more progressive approach to address the matter. Parents felt that the school's response was too lax, per the outlet. 

Jennifer Chen Fein, the school's principal, responded to the apparent threat by stating in an email to colleagues that the school needs to tackle "anti-trans and other biased behavior." 

Lily Rayman-Read, a school counselor, responded to the threat by calling for "empathy for the creator" of the hit list. 

She then expressed the need for an "immediate creation of an affinity space for LGBTQIA+ families," in emails.  

A forum was held at the school for parents of students featured on the list, which resulted in Galdston saying their concerns were "student shaming." 

One of the parents sent an email to the school following the meeting and wrote, "I am very frustrated with the lack of information … about your steps to ensure the safety of the school environment and your plan for reintegrating the student who wrote the Hit List." 

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