A transgender student at a Virginia middle school was kept out of both male and female locker rooms during a school safety drill meant to prepare students for events such as a mass shooting.
The school, located in Stafford County, instructed students to seek shelter in the boys’ and girls’ locker rooms, but teachers could not agree on which one the trans girl should enter. LGBTQ advocacy group Equality Stafford shared news of the event on Facebook, sparking a public outcry. The name of the school is being withheld to protect the student’s identity.
“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 reads. “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.”
“Let me be clear. 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. These events occur across our country right now but this one happened here,” the post, which at time of writing has well over 1,000 shares, continues.
The group is calling on concerned citizens to attend tonight’s school board meeting.
Schools spokesperson Sherrie Johnson released the following statement, WUSA-9 reports:
Stafford County Public Schools does not comment on individual student incidents to avoid divulging confidential information. However, the new superintendent has requested a review of all protocols and procedures to ensure that all children are treated with dignity and respect. We take such matters very seriously and they will be addressed. The welfare of all students is of the utmost importance for SCPS.
A news report from that outlet follows.