Virginia middle school bars trans student from participating in active shooter drill

A Virginia middle school is under fire after a transgender student was allegedly barred from participating in an active shooter drill, according to an LGBT rights group.

In a Facebook post published on October 3, Equality Stafford say that the staff at Stafford County Middle School forced the student to sit in the gym during the exercise because they couldn’t determine which bathroom or locker room to send her.

“When the drill began, a particular class of children took shelter in the bathroom/locker room nearest them as they were in PE. One student was prevented from entering either the boys or girls locker room while the teachers discussed where she should go,” the post read.

Other students found shelter in the nearest bathroom or locker room in an attempt to simulate where they would hide if a mass shooting was underway at the school.

“The student was forced to watch the adults charged with her care, debate the safest place (for the other students) to have her shelter,” the post continued. “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. After some additional debate, she was made to sit in the locker room hall way, by the door away from her peers. This happened because the child, in addition to being a model student, also happens to be transgender.”

The student was ultimately told to sit in a hallway for the rest of the drill.

“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,” Equality Stafford wrote. “These events occur across our country right now but this one happened here.”

In a statement issued to the LGBT outlet Metro Weekly, school spokesperson Sherrie Johnson said that while the school doesn’t comment on individual matters involving students, a review of the school’s policies is underway.

“The new superintendent has requested a review of all protocols and procedures to ensure that all children are treated with dignity and respect,” Johnson said in the statement.

“We take such matters very seriously and they will be addressed. The welfare of all students is of the utmost importance for SCPS.”

[The Hill]

Featured image via screen grab/YouTube

Sky Palma

Before launching DeadState back in 2012, Sky Palma has been blogging about politics, social issues and religion for over a decade. He lives in Los Angeles and also enjoys Brazilian jiu jitsu, chess, music and art.