A school in Oklahoma canceled classes on Monday and Tuesday after local parents began posting threats online against a 12-year-old transgender girl who attended the school. An uproar began last week after Jamie Crenshaw, a mother whose children attend public schools in the town, Achille, wrote on a local parents Facebook page that she was disgusted to hear that a transgender girl, Maddie, had used the girls’ bathroom at the school. Last year, the Trump administration rescinded protections for transgender students who used bathrooms conforming with their gender identity.
“The transgender is already using the girls bathroom,” wrote Crenshaw. “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.”
Her husband, Buddy Crenshaw, also publicly shared a screenshot of the post on his own Facebook page, where it reportedly generated hundreds of replies — many of which were hateful and threatening in nature. Some posters recommending castrating the 12-year-old, and others suggested encouraging her classmates to beat her if she dared go near the bathroom again.
Maddie’s mother, Brandy Rose, told The New York Times that while her daughter normally uses faculty bathrooms, she had to use the girls restroom on her first day back at school because she was in a new building and had been unable to locate the faculty lavatory.
“You would expect children to bully other children,” Rose said. “These are adults bullying a child and threatening a child and they’re claiming to be doing it in the name of God … How in the world is that Christlike?”
She had to receive an order of protection against Mr. Crenshaw, she added, after he blocked her in the road on Friday morning and “verbally assaulted” her about her daughter. As a preventative measure against possible violence, the school shut down on Monday and Tuesday. Rick Beene, the superintendent of Achille Public Schools, said that they would support Maddie and other transgender students, and that they were taking additional steps to prevent retaliation against the youngster. Maddie, who is devoutly religious, was forced to leave her prior school in Texas after she was assaulted and she and her older brother faced bullying and threats from their classmates. But in an interview on Tuesday, she suggested that this time she wouldn’t be going anywhere.
“I’m going to keep my head held up high and stay strong and go to school,” she said. “And won’t let those bullies drag me down.”
Read the full story at The New York Times.