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A middle school in Oklahoma canceled classes earlier this week after threats against a transgender girl were made in a Facebook group meant for parents in the district.
The preteen had her first day back at Achille ISD last week, a day considered a stressful time for any kid. However, because she is transgender, she had an added stressor: She had been using the staff bathroom rather than the girls’ bathroom for two years, but this year she was in a new building. Her mother, Brandy Rose, said in an interview with KXII, “She hadn’t been told where the staff bathroom was. Before she was able to be told, she had to pee, so she used the girls’ bathroom one single time.”
Somehow one parent, Jamie Crenshaw, in the district found out and took to the private Facebook group Achille ISD Parents Group to complain. “Heads up parents of 5th thru 7th grade girls. The transgender is already using the girls bathroom,” she wrote. “We have made school board meetings over this situation last year but nothing seems to be changing.”
As the student had already been using the staff bathroom by then, it’s unclear what change they wanted. Crenshaw also claimed that the young girl had been caught peeping in the past, but Rose says her daughter just leans forward when she uses the bathroom.
The comments made on Crenshaw’s post by other parents were disturbing and dehumanizing. One called the child a “half baked maggot.” Others used standard transphobic bigotry, such as “the Bible says God created man, and woman … not any transgender bs.” Some of the adults even suggested using violence against the child. “If he wants to be a female make him a female. A good sharp knife will do the job really quick,” one wrote. Another parent said they should tell their children to beat her up in the bathroom.
Superintendent Rick Beene made the call to cancel school at the behest of local law enforcement. He also said that while Crenshaw is a parent in the district, the other commenters were not. Rose is also working with law enforcement, reportedly filing a protective order against someone with the same surname as one of the commenters.
“She’s an awesome kid,” Rose told KXII of her daughter. “To see any fear in her, I can’t explain how bad that hurts me for them to hurt her.”
H/T Washington Post
Alex Dalbey is a writer and zinester currently working out of St. Paul, Minnesota. They have bylines at The Daily Dot, Kill Screen, and Bullet Points. Follow them on Twitter @thedialogtree