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.
“This is unacceptable, this cannot happen to one more child. Not one more in this country. Not ever again.”
© 2018 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.
For 30 years GCN has been a vital, free-of-charge information service for Ireland’s LGBT+ community. We want to go on providing this community hub in print and online, helping countless individuals across the country, but the revenue from advertising across the media is falling.
GCN needs your support. If you value having an independent LGBT+ media in Ireland, you can help from only €1.99 per month. Support Ireland’s free, independent LGBT+ media.