A student at a middle school lockdown in Stafford, Virginia, was barred from taking shelter in the male or female locker rooms with other students during an active shooter drill while the student watched teachers debate where she should go.
Equality Stafford’s Lesley Woods reported the incident on Facebook: “This past week, an incident occurred during a middle school lock down drill in Stafford County. When the drill began, a particular class of children took shelter in the bathroom/locker room nearest them as they were in PE. One student was prevented from entering either the boys or girls locker room while the teachers discussed where she should go. The student was forced to watch the adults charged with her care, debate the safest place (for the other students) to have her shelter. 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.”
Added Woods: “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.”
Said Woods to Fox5DC: “This is nothing new for the family. They are a solid family and they are very much in support of their child, and they are really solid advocates for the community. So I would say all in all, the rest of us are shocked and appalled and motivated to come and speak and learn, but this family – this is their life everyday.”
Stafford County Public Schools released a statement: “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 including security 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.”