An Oklahoma school district closed for two days earlier this week after a group of adults made threatening Facebook comments about a transgender student in "Achille ISD Parents Group". Facebook commenters called the seventh grader, "it", “half-baked maggot” and "thing." One Facebook poster suggested it was open hunting season for transgender people, and others advocated for the 12-year-old to be stabbed or beaten up. At least one parent made a direct threat of castration, saying, “if he wants to be female make him a female. A good sharp knife will do the job really quick.”
A 12-year-old transgender girl’s mother Brandy Rose said: "She's been living as female for years-- she started at Achille as Maddie." "We had no problems when we first started.” However, transgender student Maddie, who moved to Achille from Sherman when she was in 5th grade, was accused by another student of peeping under a bathroom stall. Afterward, she used the Achille School’s staff bathroom for two years. She was at a new school this year and hadn’t been given that same permission, so she used the girls restroom instead.
PFLAG Oklahoma City Board of Directors, a group made up of the families and allies of LGBTQ individuals, posted an open letter to the Achille ISD saying group members were "heartbroken, angered and dismayed" by the Facebook posts. The letter called on the school administration to publicly denounce the Facebook comments and their violent threats.
"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. "This should include not just the child but also her parents, who we imagine are also heartsick, angry and terrified for their child's safety. "That's not hyperbole. That is the reality too many families in the LGBTQ community face on a daily basis."
[Superintendent Rick] Beene said district officials have met with the transgender student and her mother, and Achille Public School resumed classes Wednesday morning. “We had a great visit with the student and her mom this morning, and she is back in class today,” according to Beene. The student’s mother has also filed a protective order against one of the district parents who made Facebook comments about her daughter, Beene said.
Photo Credits: Muskogee Phoenix