National LGBT leaders are speaking out against parents in an Oklahoma school district following threats posted on social media against a transgender student.
According to reports, parents within the district posted threats against the 12-year-old transgender girl after it was mentioned that she had been using the girls’ restroom in a public Oklahoma middle school.
CNN reported Achille School system officials met with members of the local police and fire departments, as well as Bryan County Sheriff Johnny Christian, who ultimately requested the school close for two days.
Reportedly LGBTQ supporters held a small peaceful rally outside the school, and the decision to close was made in part to keep them safe if counterprotesters showed up.
New York LGBT Network President/CEO David Kilmnick has condemned the act of hate and has called on the school district to implement mandatory LGBT cultural sensitivity training. The LGBT Network has offered its services to any LGBT youth throughout the nation who may feel threatened or harmed by these vicious acts of hate and discrimination.
“On the day that the LGBT community is celebrating the historic accomplishment of a transgender woman running and winning as a major party candidate for Governor of Vermont, we are reminded that hatred still exists, and we have a long way to go until all LGBT youth can feel safe in their schools and communities,” said Kilmnick. "Bullying against any student is wrong and should be dealt with swiftly. And when the bullying is coming from parents, a community-wide response led by school officials and local elected officials is necessary to protect and ensure all students are safe. It is the duty of all officials to create this safe environment and anything short of that should result in termination."
Many of the graphic threats made against the Oklahoma transgender student included those of physical violence, one of which detailed the use of a knife against the child. Police have been notified of the incident and are investigating, although no arrests have been made. There has been an order of protection issued against a man who confronted the student’s mother in person about her use of the bathroom.
New York LGBT Network noted that according to recent statistics, over 85% of LGBT students report verbal harassment in school, 60% report sexual harassment, and 27% report physical harassment, leading to over 58% feeling unsafe in school, and leading to at least 32% missing school.