Classes were canceled Monday and Tuesday in a small Oklahoma school district after a 12-year-old transgender student was threatened online. It was the girl's first day of classes at the middle school in Achille, Okla., last Wednesday and she used the girls' bathroom. At her elementary school, she had been using the staff restroom, but no one had yet told her where the staff bathroom was at her new school, her mom tells KXII. A parent in the district found out and complained on a group for parents in the district, "Heads up parents of 5th thru 7th grade girls. 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." Derogatory and threatening comments quickly followed.
"If he wants to be female, make him female. A good sharp knife will do the trick," wrote one commenter, according to the Oklahoman. "Just tell the kids to kick ass in the bathroom and it won't want to come back," wrote another. The post has since been removed, but screenshots were widely shared, leading LGBTQ advocates and others to express support for the girl. The superintendent tells KFOR law enforcement asked the district to cancel classes over fear that demonstrations might break out on campus. He adds that the Facebook group where the comment was made is not officially affiliated with the district, and that most of the commenters were not parents of district students. "Private discussions held on the social media do not reflect the views of Achille school, staff, administration, or school board," he says in a statement. Law enforcement agencies including the FBI are looking into the social media comments, and the local sheriff says the student's mother filed a protective order against one parent. (Read more transgender stories.)