Silent protest held in support of transgender Achille Schools 7th grader

Published: Aug. 14, 2018 at 5:25 PM CDT
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A silent protest was held in Achille Tuesday morning in support of a 7th grade Achille student who received threats from parents online.

"Today was a representation of every tear everyone has cried for being different," said Darius Douglas.

The rain didn't stop about 20 people from showing up in red to silently demonstrate support for a 7th grade transgender girl at Achille Schools.

"Everyone was a supporter for keeping this child safe."

The demonstration was planned by T.J. Pierce after she heard 12-year-old Maddie's story.

It started last week after parents posted on Facebook complaining that the transgender girl had used the girls restroom on her first day of 7th grade.

Her mother tells us she usually uses the staff bathroom and it happened one single time, but parents reacted by threatening her with a knife and saying it was open hunting season for transgender people.

"Everybody is different. You don't have to understand it or like it-- just get along," Douglas said.

Protestors duck taped their mouths to represent how they wanted to speak using actions and not words. They wore red to stand together in unity.

"We're not gonna tolerate any threats."

Sheriff Johnny Christian said Bryan County is working with several agencies including the FBI to see if any comments constitute a hate crime.

He emphasized that a few comments do not represent Achille as a whole, and that many people who commented on Facebook weren't even from the county.

"Our communities in Bryan County are amazing. They are quiet and take good care of our children. The schools are amazing."

Police had an area set up for counter-protesters but nobody showed up.

"There should be no child that should feel like they have to watch their back every day," Pierce said.