A GoFundMe page has raised over $50,000 to help the family of a 12 year old transgender student move away from the town and school system of Achille, Oklahoma, after she faced online threats from parents for using the girls bathroom at her middle school. The fundraisers original goal was to raise $15,000, but has definitely surpassed that.
The girl, Maddie, and her family moved to Achille years ago from Sherman, Texas for a fresh start, as she faced bullying at her former school, as her mother told NBC News. Since entering the Achille school system in fifth grade, the now seventh grader used the staff bathroom. On the first day of seventh grade, she decided to use the girls restroom. According to the GoFundMe page, she was in a new building for her classes, and she didn’t know where the staff bathrooms were.
— Erin Christy (@Erin_Christy) August 17, 2018
Jamie Crenshaw, a parent at the school, found out and posted a response on the Achille parent Facebook page. According to the Washington Post,the now deleted-post said:
“Heads up parents of 5th thru 7th grade girls...The transgender is already using the girls bathroom. We have been told how the school has gone above and beyond to make sure he has his own restroom yet he is still using the girls. REALLY….Looks like it’s gonna be a long year.”
Other harsh comments and violent threats were made in response to Crenshaw’s post. Parents in the Facebook group referred to Maddie as “it” and “thing”, and even encouraged students to be violent towards her, The Hill reports.
Oklahoma City journalist and writer L Anne Babb heard about the 12 year old’s experience and reached out to the family about starting a GoFundMe campaign to help relocate the family. “We have family in Houston that have been wanting us to move to them for years, but it has just never been a financial possibility,” the mother said, according to Babb’s GoFundMe description. The Washington Post reports that the family plans to move from Oklahoma, after their daughters experience in the school. The Post also reports that the family hopes to move to a more inclusive place.
“We actually tried a few years ago, but it all just fell apart, and was a mess. If we had the financial means to actually move, and get set up there, close to our family, and in a city that has so many more resources for Maddie, it would literally be life changing.”
If you would like to donate or support the campaign, you can donate directly to the GoFundMe page.