More than $20,000 has been raised through a crowdfunding campaign to support a 12-year-old transgender girl threatened with violence by parents at her small school in Oklahoma.
A group of adults took to a private Facebook group for parents at Achille Independent School District to unleash vicious threats and hateful comments at 12-year-old Maddie complaining about the teenager using the school’s female bathrooms, the New York Times reported.
The vile messages referred to the 7th grader as “it,” a “half baked maggot” and “the transgender,” and one parent suggested mutilating her using a “good sharp knife”.
One parent began the Facebook thread, writing, “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.”
Another parent incited violence writing, “Just tell the kids to kick ass in the bathroom and it won’t want to come back!!”
The vicious abuse led police to shutting down classes at the school in Achille, Oklahoma for two days last week in order to investigate the threats.
A GoFundMe page set up to support the family has since received over $20,000 in donations to allow the family to move closer to supportive relatives in Houston, Texas.
Twitter, I’ve started a @gofundme campaign for Maddie, the 12yo transgender girl who is being bullied by a bunch of Achille, Oklahoma parents for using the girls’ bathroom one time–and being trans. Help me help this family move https://t.co/fPD1CAMZai #TeamMaddie
— Third Eve (@ThirdEve) August 15, 2018
Adults are supposed to set good examples. Not threaten a transgender girl who just wants to use the bathroom that aligns with her identity. This is incredibly harsh and unfair treatment to anybody, let alone a 12 year-old girl.
— Brayden ?????? (@Bden_Yay) August 20, 2018
I demand it. I demand action to be taken and that these adults suffer the consequences. I demand that Maddie and other trans youth like us don’t have to exist in fear. https://t.co/NetmAmmd20
— Landon Richie = (@landon_richie_) August 15, 2018
A group of around 20 students at the school held a demonstration last week to protest the violent online threats against Maddie.
Director of the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Children, Youth and Families Programs, Ellen Kahn, said the “hateful and violent rhetoric” of the parents adults is “despicable, disgusting and completely dehumanizing.”
“No student should face threats of violence or harassment from anyone in their school community, let alone from their peers’ parents,” she said.
“In the aftermath of the last election, LGBTQ students reported an increase in bullying, and the incident in Oklahoma reinforces the unconscionable fact that the bullying can sometimes come from adults in their community.”
Superintendent Rick Beene told The Oklahoman Achille schools and administration “take the safety of every student very seriously.”
“Private discussions held on the social media do not reflect the views of Achille school, staff, administration, or school board,” he said.
“Achille school believes everyone should receive a safe and free education. We have a very talented staff that cares about each and every student.”