Oklahoma school reopens after parents’ knife threats to transgender 12-year-old girl
Schools in an Oklahoma school district have reopened, after threats to take a “good sharp knife” to a transgender 12-year-old girl sparked a security alert.
Police shut down schools in Achille, Oklahoma on Monday and Tuesday after threats emerged to a transgender student named as Maddie.
Messages had come to light in a Facebook group for parents of students, who had vented about Maddie being allowed to use the female bathroom.
They referred to the 12-year-old girl as “it,” “this thing,” “half baked maggot” and “the transgender,” and threatened to use a “good sharp knife” to slice her genitals. Another suggested: “Just tell the kids to kick [her] ass in the bathroom and it won’t want to come back!”
Bryan County Sheriff’s Office shut down the school district while the issue was investigated, but the schools were permitted to re-open on Wednesday.
The Sheriff’s Office say it may still press charges over the violent remarks.
Maddie’s mother Brandy Rose said the girl and her siblings had been sent to stay with relatives for a few days because of the fears of violence.
She said: “Even when Maddie returned home she was too scared to sleep alone, she slept with us.
“To see her be afraid really broke my heart because Maddie’s not afraid of stuff, she lets things roll off her shoulders.
“There’s a lot more love than hate and that seems to help her to be less fearful now, she’s excited to be back at school.”
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LGBT activists have laid the blame for the incident at the door of Republican leaders who have stoked fears about transgender people in bathrooms.
Ellen Kahn, Director of the HRC Foundation’s Children, Youth and Families Programs, said: “The hateful and violent rhetoric of these adults is despicable, disgusting and completely dehumanizing.
“No student should face threats of violence or harassment from anyone in their school community, let alone from their peers’ parents.
“In the aftermath of the last election, LGBTQ students reported an increase in bullying, and the incident in Oklahoma reinforces the unconscionable fact that the bullying can sometimes come from adults in their community.
“Words and actions have consequences, and the rhetoric and polices coming from the Trump-Pence administration and too many state politicians have only emboldened the kind of prejudice that leads to these threats.”