Threatening violence against a student-transgender or not-is outside the bounds of acceptable behavior, it is quite understandable that these parents are upset at the accusations that a transgender female (male) student was looking over the stalls in the girl’s bathroom:
TIME – A school district in southern Oklahoma was shut down for two days after parents used a Facebook group to threaten violence against a transgender seventh-grade student.
Superintendent Rick Beene was forced to close Achille Public Schools on Monday and Tuesday after parents posted claims on a Facebook group “Achille ISD Parents Group” that the student, who identifies as a girl, was looking over the stalls in the girls’ bathroom.
“Heads up parents of 5th through 7th grade,” parent Jamie Crenshaw said in a now-deleted post. “The transgender is already using the girls bathroom. 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 its going to be a long year.”
Beene still hasn’t asserted whether the alleged bathroom incident took place.
Other parents commented in response to this post, and that’s when the threats of violence supposedly started to arise.
The post caused reactions from other adults who called the 7th grade student as “this thing” and “half baked maggot.” One parent repeatedly referred to the student as “he” and suggested a “good sharp knife” stop the student. Another parent said that their child should “whip his ass until he quits coming to school.”
Actually, the “good sharp knife” comment wasn’t intended about stopping the student, but to make the male student into a “female”. Here’s a screenshot:
To be honest, these shouldn’t be considered as real threats. Apparently, the parents (and others) are just talking in an unpleasant and arrogant manner in some instances – about this report that the boy pretending to be a girl is looking over the bathroom stall.
However, due to these reactions, the school superintendent made a decision of closing the whole district down for two days on the advice of law enforcement:
Beene reported TIME he made the decision to close both the elementary schools, which houses kindergarten through eighth grade, and the high school on the advice of local law enforcement.
The school will be opened again on Wednesday with police on campus
And law enforcement may take action against some of these parents:
Bryan County Sheriff Johnny Christian says deputies are currently investigating the Facebook posts and could file charges. He says most of the responses were from parents outside the Achille area — some even from out of state.
He says the transgender student’s family has a protective order against the parent who made the comment about using a knife.