It's a sad fact of American life that even our children have to worry about what to do in case an armed gunman targets their school. In those moments, every decision and every second counts and could mean the difference between life and death.
So it is both shocking and disturbing to hear about what went on during a "mass shooter drill" at a Virginia school. Stafford County
Middle School officials were practicing a "lockdown" for the school, which is meant to show students how to react in case of an attack. During these drills, officials usher students to designated shelters — usually the nearest bathroom or locker room.
But when officials at Stafford were sending their students to safety, they left one student out — all because she was transgender.
According to reports, officials couldn't decide whether the trans student — who identifies as female — should go with the boys or the girls.
In a moment when every second counts, they stood there debating how her being placed with either the boys or girls would affect their safety without worrying about the safety of the young trans student. Ultimately, while they shuffled the other students into their respective bathrooms for cover, they forced the trans student to sit virtually alone in the locker room hallway.
The officials at Stafford treated this young student as more of a threat to their student body than the mass shooter that was apparently invading their school. They not only made her feel different but also ashamed in front of the rest of her class.
To most people the answer is obvious, if the student identifies as a girl, then she should be sheltered with the girls. But on top of that, in a life or death situation, why does it matter where she goes as long as she is safe?
In a lockdown drill, the point is to save her life, not categorize her.Stafford County Public Schools needs to review their drill procedures and commit to protecting all students equally. Sign the petition to demand equal protection for all students and let's make sure this never happens again.