Schools were shut down after one threatened to castrate her.
Achille, Oklahoma -- Very disturbing threats made by parents in a Facebook group against a trans student resulted in the closure of the school district and an investigation by the FBI as a hate crime.
This article contains an account of what was said in the group and may trigger people sensitive to transphobia and violence.
A Facebook group attacked the 12-year-old trans girl calling her “it,” “this thing,” “half baked maggot” and “the transgender," according to Pink News.
But it was the threat of castration that made Superintendent Rick Beene and the Bryan County Sheriff's Department decide to close the campus until Wednesday.
Maddie who usually uses a staff restroom used the girl's bathroom on her first day of seventh grade.
This initiated a response from resident Jamie Crenshaw who said in the group, “The transgender is already using the girl's bathroom,” and “Enough is enough.”
The group then began to pile on more transphobic responses including one from Eddie Belcher who wrote “If he wants to be a female make him a female. “A good sharp knife will do the job really quick.” Another person said it was "open hunting season on them kind."
Maddie has identified as trans since the fifth grade.
Kevin Lee Bickerstaff suggested that the kids take violent action against Maddie: “Just tell the kids to kick ass in the bathroom and it won’t want to come back!”
Seth Cooper added to that sentiment with his post, “whip his ass until he quits coming to school.”
Screenshots of the conversations were brought to the attention of the district's official Facebook page and that's where Maddie's mother Brandy filed a restraining order against Burney Crenshaw, Jamie’s husband who she says started it all.
Brandy said her daughter didn't know where the staff bathroom was, “Before she was able to be told, she had to pee, so she used the girls’ bathroom one single time.”
The threats were salient enough to upset Brandy and her family to cause them to lose sleep. “That’s a threat against her life – that’s scary,” she said. “These are adults making threats – I don’t understand it.”
Superintendent Beene said: “We are putting in extra measures to help safeguard our students. We appreciate all the concern for our Achille students. Our school is shut down until Wednesday for safety precautions." He added, "While I will not go into specifics, we have increased security.”
Beene pointed out that the group was not affiliated to the school and that most of the people posting in the group were not from the Achilles school district
“Achille Public Schools and administration believe everyone should receive a safe and free education,” he said. “We have a very talented staff that cares about each and every student. We remain one of the few small Oklahoma schools to have a resource officer and have had for the last several years.”
The official Facebook page announced the closure of the schools and many commented about the incident.
Wrote Gary Franklin, "you have parents actively planning harm to a 12 year old girl. what are you doing to protect your students? if anything happens, you have been informed and will be responsible."
Brandi Reed Radebaugh said, "I am also wondering what you plan to do with these parents? At the very least they should not be allowed on your campus or at campus events."
"If someone feels so threatened by a 12 year-old that they speak of mutilation," wrote another, "then I do hope that she doesn't have children as I imagine even the slightest transgression would set her off with similar threats against her own child. Has DHS been made aware of her threats against children?"