Mother of transgender Achille Schools 7th grader shares struggles following threats

Published: Aug. 13, 2018 at 5:56 PM CDT
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Several law enforcement agencies have stepped in after parents made threats to harm a 12-year-old Achille Public Schools student on social media last week.

12-year-old Achille Schools transgender student Maddie's mother Brandy Rose says her family moved to Achille from Sherman when Maddie was in 5th grade.

"She's been living as female for years-- she started at Achille as Maddie," Rose said. "We had no problems when we first started."

Trouble started when Maddie was accused by another student peeping under a bathroom stall.

"My daughter leans very far forward to use the bathroom," Rose explained. "I can understand why someone seeing her lean forward would think, 'Oh my gosh, she's trying to look under.'"

Maddie didn't get in trouble, but started using the staff bathroom, and had been doing that for the past two years.

That is, until the first day of school Wednesday in the middle school they reopened.

"She hadn't been told 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."

One parent found out, and took to a private Achille Facebook group to complain.

That's where the threats started. Adults called Maddie by "it" and "thing." Some said she should be stabbed or beat up. One even suggested it was open hunting season for transgender people.

"That's a threat against her life--that's scary," Rose said. "These are adults making threats-- I don't understand it."

Rose said her usually upbeat and positive daughter is afraid for her life.

"She's an awesome kid. To see any fear in her,I can't explain how bad that hurts me for them to hurt her."

As a precaution, the Bryan County Sheriff suggested closing campus Monday and Tuesday.

Superintendent Rick Beene agreed.

He said there haven't been any problems with Maddie over the past two years until the adults' comments last week.

Beene says he and the school can't control what parents post online, and that several parents in the group weren't even from Achille.

The sheriff said the mother filed a protective order against one parent but no other arrests have been made, however several agencies including the FBI are stepping in to see if any comments constitute a hate crime.

A peaceful demonstration in support of the student has been scheduled for tomorrow morning in Achille.