Transgender Student Excluded From School Safety Drill

The child was made to sit on the bleachers while her teachers debated over which locker room she should seek shelter in.

A school hallway. A trans student was excluded from her school's safety drill.

A transgender student was excluded from entering her school’s locker rooms during a safety drill at Stafford County Public School in Virginia. The staff at the school were running the drill in order to prepare students for a potential attack.

The student’s class was in a PE lesson at the time of the lock-down safety drill and were told to move towards gender-specific locker rooms to seek shelter. Teachers debated at length over which locker room the trans student should use. She was made to sit on the bleachers of the gym with a teacher during their discussion.

Eventually, she was forced to sit in the locker room hallway, while the other students proceeded to the gender-designated locker rooms.

Equality Stafford, an LGBT+ organisation commented on the incident on their facebook page:

“The student was forced to watch the adults charged with her care debate the safest place (for the other students) to have her shelter.

“During this debate, she was instructed to sit in the gym with a teacher until the drill was complete, away from her peers and identified as different.

“During an event that prepares children to survive an attack by actual assailants, she was treated as if she was so much of a danger to peers that she was left exposed and vulnerable. These events occur across our country right now but this one happened here.”

In a statement addressing the incident Sherrie Johnson, a spokesperson for the school in question said:

“The new superintendent has requested a review of all protocols and procedures to ensure that all children are treated with dignity and respect. We take such matters very seriously and they will be addressed. The welfare of all students is of the utmost importance for Stafford County Public School.”

The group called for their supporters to join the school board’s meeting on October 9.

They added:

“This is unacceptable, this cannot happen to one more child. Not one more in this country. Not ever again.”

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