Aug 14, 2018
Several agencies, including the FBI are “stepping in” to investigate threats made online against a 12-year-old transgender girl in Achille, Okla., to determine if those threats constitute a hate crime, according to Sherman, Texas TV station KXII Channel 12, a Fox TV station.
The same TV station reported Monday, Aug. 13, that officials with the Achille Independent School District have decided to close school — which just opened for the school year in the middle of last week — until Wednesday, Aug, 15, due to safety concerns. There are also reports that a rally in support of the child and her family is planned for Wednesday morning when school reopens.
The girl, Maddie, is now in the 7th grade and has been attending school in Achille since 5th grade. Her mother, Brandy Rose, told KXII that her daughter has been living as a girl for years and that when they moved to Achille and the child started school there, there was no problem until another student accused Maddie of peeking under a bathroom stall. The mother explained that her daughter “leans very far forward to use the bathroom. I can understand why someone seeing her lean forward would think, ‘Oh my gosh, she’s trying to look under.’”
She said Maddie didn’t get in trouble then, but school officials did make arrangements for her to use the staff restroom after that. But when school started last week, she was in a building that was new to her and did not know where the staff restroom was, so she used the girl’s restroom. Another student’s mother found out and posted online in the Achille ISD Parent Group on Facebook.
The woman, Jamie Crenshaw, wrote: “The transgender is already using the girls bathroom. We have been told how the school has gone above and beyond to make sure he has his own restroom yet he is still using the girls. REALLY . . . Looks like it’s gonna be a long year.” Responses to Crenshaw’s post, all from adults, included insults like calling the trans girl “a thing,” “it” and “a half-baked maggot,” along with actual physical threats against her, with one man suggesting that other children be encouraged to “kick ass in the bathroom.”
One man even wrote: “If he wants to be a female make him a female. A good sharp knife will do the job really quick.”
Achille Public School Superintendent Rick Beene clarified that contrary to initial reports, only Jamie Crenshaw’s initial post was made to the parents group, which has since been shut down. He said the other messages and responses came from people in other parts of Oklahoma and in Texas, according to The Washington Post.
Jamie Crenshaw’s original post was shared on a relative’s Facebook account, which then drew many of the other derogatory responses, according to reports.