Classes were cancelled at an Oklahoma school in the town of Achille for two days after parents of students at said school hurled threats at a 12-year-old transgender student. The outpouring of violent threats began after parents at the school discovered that the student, whose name is withheld to protect her privacy and safety, used the girls’ restroom, which corresponds to the gender she identifies with. Once that detail spread, parents with children in the school began threatening to protest at the campus, and some said they would do much worse than that.
As was reported at The Hill, School Superintendent Rick Beene said that given the threats, and the police believing there was a credible possibility of “problems” if the school opened, he made the decision to close the school for everyone’s safety. According to News OK, the parents of the transgender student took out an order of protection against Burney Crenshaw, who is the person that has campaigned to have their child removed from school, and made the post that led to the threatening comments.
The now-removed posts appeared on an Achille school district parents group Facebook page, which Beene was quick to point out is not officially affiliated to the school district, and in no way represents the school district’s views. While only a handful of screenshots are being shared by the media, the content of the post has been preserved for use in possible future legal action, and as proof that protective orders against certain individuals is warranted. A sampling of what was said has been reported on by NewsOk and the Daily Mail.
“If he wants to be female, make him female. A good sharp knife will do the trick.” – Eddie Belcher
“Just tell the kids to kick a** in the bathroom and it won’t want to come back.” – Kevin Bickerstaff
“This is terrible!! Ya’ll have great kids and a lil half baked maggot is causing them probs.” – Ty Hays
“Let Parker whip his a** until he quits coming to school.” – Seth Shelbie Cooper
The Daily Mail reports that in the comments adults posted that they were able to view, the transgender girl was regularly mis-gendered and referred to as “it,” “thing,” and “maggot.”
Crenshaw stated he was making people aware of the situation so they could protect their children, and that they needed to push the school board harder to change the situation. A portion of that message was posted at The Hill.
“This is the same kid that got an [sic] trouble as soon as he transferred two years ago for looking over the stalls in the girls bathroom. Enough is enough.”
The mother of the transgender girl told KXII 12 that what was being said about her daughter has been blown out of proportion and is not accurate. For starters, the child was not alleged to have looked over the stall, but rather a student reported that she thought she was trying to lean forward to look under a stall while relieving herself.
“My daughter leans very far forward to use the bathroom so I can understand why someone might see her leaning forward as ‘oh my gosh she’s trying to look under the stall.’
The Daily Mail reported that since the fifth grade when the child expressed her gender identity, she was allowed to use the staff bathroom while at school. However, beginning seventh grade in a new school, she was confused on how to get around, and used the student bathroom instead, which is what caused Crenshaw to complain on Facebook. Superintendent Beene released a statement stating he is humiliated by the words of the parents on the Facebook page, and is working to resolve the issue, including hiring an extra resource officer.
“Our kids, our parents, most of our community is very, very good people… very open to all ethnicities, all populations and, really, we’ve got a group of kids that love each other. We know of no bullying as far as this one situation is concerned.”