ACHILLE, OKLAHOMA — A middle school in Oklahoma shut down this Tuesday in the wake of violent threats on social media from parents upset that a transgender child used the girl’s restroom.
The student, who news outlets say is a 12-year-old child named “Maddie,” identifies as female and had been using the staff bathroom at her former school for the past two years. When she started at her new school, her mother said she couldn’t find the staff bathroom and mistakenly used the girls restroom. Within two days, Maddie’s gender identity was a national news story and she started receiving death threats which led to the school temporarily closing down over security concerns.
“You know we have open hunting seasons on them kind. Aint no bag limit in them either,” one person posted online, according to the local Fox affiliate, KXII-TV.
“If he wants to be female make him a female,” another person wrote.
“A good sharp knife will do the job real quick,” read another comment.
The comments were made in a private Facebook group for parents at Achille Independent School District in response to a post from a parent angry about Maddie’s use of the girls restroom. Some parents even said they would urge their children to verbally and physically assault Maddie.
One parent called her a “half baked maggot.” Another called her a “thing.”
Speaking to KXII, school district head Ryan Beene pointed out that some of the threats were coming from people who weren’t even parents at the school, adding that “Achille school believes that everybody should receive a free and safe education.”
Nevertheless, the threats were enough to prompt the school to shut down Monday and Tuesday over safety concerns. Maddie’s father even filed a restraining order against one of the parents. The FBI is investigating whether the parent’s threat qualifies as hate speech.
So far, no arrests have been made.
From the Dallas News:
Like Texas, the Oklahoma Legislature has tried — and failed — to pass a bill requiring transgender students to use the restrooms that match their sex at birth. The so-called bathroom bill frightened the transgender community in Texas. But it’s also galvanized them, leading to an upswing in LGBTQ political engagement as well as the highest number of trans candidates in the state’s history.
Both Texas efforts failed due in large part to opposition from big business. But it’s unclear whether Lone Star State lawmakers will revive the issue when they meet next in January. Earlier this summer, delegates to the Texas Republican Party Convention listed restricting bathroom use based on sex as one of its top five priorities.
Watch KXII-TV’s report on the story below:
Featured image via screen grab