Officials at a middle school in Virginia have been accused of keeping a transgender student separate and vulnerable during an active shooter drill.
The incident allegedly took place at Stafford County Middle School, according to Equality Stafford, an LGBTQ rights group in the area. In a Facebook post last week, the group described the drill, saying, “a particular class of children took shelter in the bathroom/locker room nearest them as they were in PE. One student was prevented from entering either the boys or girls locker room while the teachers discussed where she should go.”
Equality Stafford Community, This past week, an incident occurred during a middle school lock down drill in Stafford…Posted by Equality Stafford on Wednesday, October 3, 2018
While the teachers debated, the trans girl was made to sit alone in the gym separate from other students. Eventually, they allowed her into the locker room but still made her sit a distance away from the other children, in the locker room hallway.
In response to the post, Sherrie Johnson, a spokeswoman for Stafford County Schools, put out a statement with WUSA on Thursday. “Stafford County Public Schools does not comment on individual student incidents,” she said. “However, the new superintendent has requested a review of all protocols and procedures to ensure that all children are treated with dignity and respect. We take such matters very seriously and they will be addressed.”
This is one of many incidents in which school teachers and administration have singled out trans students over the past few years. Such actions can have serious consequences from peers who may mimic adults’ fear of trans people. It also reinforces the dangerous stigmas about transgender people making bathrooms “unsafe.”
“Let me be clear,” wrote Equality Stafford. “During an event that prepares children to survive an attack by actual assailants, she was treated as if she was so much of a danger to peers that she was left exposed and vulnerable.”
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The advocate group has since requested that people put pressure not on teachers, but on the administration, saying, “Teachers are often afraid of retribution by other parents or administration which causes confusion. These teachers need education and support.” Members of the group intend to go to the school board meeting tonight and request training and policy changes to prevent other trans students from being mistreated.
H/T the Hill