A middle school in Achille, Oklahoma closed its doors for two days after threats were made against a 12-year-old transgender student who used the girls’ bathroom.
The student, Maddie, was familiar with going to the staff bathroom before attending middle school. Once at the new school, she didn’t know where the staff bathroom was located, and so she went to the bathroom that conforms to her gender identity.
Once in the bathroom, someone accused her of “peeping under a bathroom stall.” Her mother said she had not done any such thing, and suspected someone may have thought so because she “leans very far forward to use the bathroom.”
After the incident, posts in a Facebook group for Achille ISD Parents turned violent and crazy.
She was referred to as an “it” and a “thing,” as well as “he.”
One person said it was “open hunting season for transgender people.”
The chain of horrible comment started off with:
“The transgender is already using the girl’s bathroom.”
One person referred to the child as a “lil half-baked maggot,” while another said:
“If he wants to be a female make him a female. A good sharp knife will do the job really quick.”
One person exuded ignorance with:
“Why are parent letting their kids be transgender?”
Another person threatened to have someone beat the child until she quit coming to school.
See the disturbing viral Facebook posts in the video below.
Now Maddie’s mother, Brandie Rose, justifiably fears for her transgender child’s life.
“These are adults making threats– I don’t understand it. She’s an awesome kid. To see any fear in her, I can’t explain how bad that hurts me for them to hurt her,” said Rose.
The family filed a protective order against Bernie Crenshaw, who was tagged in the original Facebook post.
The Sheriff responded by working with agencies, including the FBI to determine if what happened on Facebook constituted a hate crime. He noted that the comments don’t represent the community and that some of the people making them weren’t from the county.
Similarly, the Achille Superintendent, Rick Beene, condemned the violent threats toward Maddie.
“It’s 2018. We know that there’s all kinds of special populations,” said Beene.
Police were worried about outside protesters coming into the town and clashing with the community. They hired an extra resource officer to help keep the kids safe, and plan to reopen on Wednesday.
Maddie has received support from students at her school, who led a protest on Tuesday, duct taping their mouths and wearing red “to represent how they wanted to speak using actions and not words.”
Police anticipated counter-protesters, but there were none.
Before the comments on Facebook by hateful ignorant parents, Maddie’s presence had never been an issue before.
See more in the videos below:
Featured image: Screenshot via YouTube