These Facebook comments got ugly!
Achille Elementary School in Oklahoma was forced to close down after parents hured violent verbal abuse at a 12-year-old transgender student on Facebook. Achille School District
The twelve-year-old girl — who will be referred to as “Maddie” (not her real name) has identified as a girl since 2016. Before the bathroom incident that has turned so volatile, Maddie was previously using the staff bathroom, however following renovations she struggled to find it
The topic of Maddie using the girl’s bathroom popped up on the “Achille ISD Parent Group” Faceboo page and quickly escalated into violent and abusive comments. According to Think progress,, one member wrote: “This is terrible!! Y’all have great kids and a lil half baked maggot is causing them probs. We feel 4 y’all.”
“How old is this thing?” another commenter asked. “This thing !!!! I love it,” someone replied. “Got a name 4 it now. Perfect name.”
Things got worse as the comments eventually turned to physical threats. “If he wants to be female make him a female. A good sharp knife will do the job really quick,” someone wrote. “Just tell the kids to kick ass in the bathroom and it won’t want to come back!!!” another person wrote.
Maddie’s mother, Brandy Rose, commented to KXII News that Maddie started at the Achille HS two years ago and has only ever been known as a girl. “We had no problems when we first started,” Rose said. “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.”
Understandably Rose said the threats against Maddie have frightened her and the family. “These are adults making threats—I don’t understand it. 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.”
Achille superintendent Rick Beene told KXII News that they closed the school to avoid demonstrations. “The problem is, when you get into a small town, you don’t have to get a permit to demonstrate, therefore the problem with that is you don’t know who’s showing up, you don’t know what time they’re going to show up or anything like that.”
“The thought was, for law enforcement, that you can have an opposing group that might be here and that could lead to problems so law enforcement asked me if we could shut down until Wednesday so they didn’t have to worry about those 360 kids in addition to what they were already having to deal with.”
Thankfully, support from around the country has been coming in for Maddie and a small rally was held where people held signs reading “Love one another”, “#Love4Maddie” and “Bullying ain’t OK”.
Ari James, an LGBTQ advocate told KXII that many youngsters who come out when they're youths struggle, with some ending up on the streets because they are not accepted for who they are. Some go on to kill themselves.
"People seem to have the idea that violence, threats of violence are something that they can say and then take it back and that it doesn't carry any weight but this is very real thing," said James.