OK School District Reopens After Posts Target Transgender Girl
Posted On May 14, 2020
ACHILLE, OK — Schools in Achille, Oklahoma, reopened Wednesday after threats posted to Facebook that apparently targeted a transgender student forced the school district to cancel classes for two days. The comments were reported to have originated from a post on a Facebook group for parents in the school district and made “derogatory statements and threats” against the middle-school female transgender student, according to The Oklahoman.
KXII-TV in Oklahoma reported that the student had been using the staff bathroom for the past two years. However, on the first day of school on Wednesday, the student had not been told where the staff bathroom was and she used the girls bathroom, the news channel reported.
That’s when one parent posted a message to the Facebook group referring to the girl as “the transgender.” The original post and subsequent comments have since been deleted but according to The Washington Post, the post read:
“Heads up parents of 5th thru 7th grade girls,” the post said. “The transgender is already using the girls bathroom. We have been told how the school has gone above and beyond to make sure he has his own restroom yet he is still using the girls. REALLY . . . Looks like it’s gonna be a long year.”
“We have made school board meetings over this situation last year but nothing seems to be changing. This is the same kid that got an (sic) trouble as soon as he transferred two years ago for looking over the stalls in the girls bathroom. Enough is enough.”
The girl’s mother told KXII-TV that her daughter began using the staff bathroom after being accused of peeping under a bathroom stall by another student. She added that her daughter did not get into trouble.
Responding to the original post, people made comments such as, “If he wants to be female, make him female. A good sharp knife will do the trick,” and “Just tell the kids to kick a** in the bathroom and it won’t want to come back,” according to The Oklahoman.
Achille Schools Superintendent Rick Beene told KFOR the Facebook page is not an official page tied to the school and added that most of the people discussing the topic were not parents. Beene said law enforcement officials asked him to shut down the school because of possible protesters. According to the Post, the initial post was shared from the group to a relative’s Facebook page and that’s where the comments came from.
Beene said most of the school community are “very, very good people” who are open to all ethnicities and populations. He told KFOR the district is not aware of any bullying “as far as this one situation is concerned.”
Bryan County Sheriff Johnny Christian told The Associated Press no arrests have been made in connection to the threats but the girl’s mother sought a protective order against a man who confronted her in person.
Activists came to the support of the student and the Oklahoma City chapter of PFLAG, an organization that advocates for the rights of LGBTQ individuals, issued an open letter to the Achille school district. The letter called on the school district to denounce not only the comments but also the “violent calls to action.”
“The Achille ISD community MUST show that they stand by their stated values by actively and publicly supporting and protecting this family,” the letter said.
Another group, called Free Mom Hugs, offered their resources to provide the staff and student body at the school with LGBTQ sensitivity training.
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