Stafford Co. superintendent apologizes to transgender girl after lockdown snafu

WASHINGTON — The superintendent of Stafford County Public Schools has apologized to the transgender middle school student who was forced to sit alone in a hallway during an active shooter drill, while her classmates took cover in boys’ and girls’ locker rooms.

The girl, who is not being identified for privacy reasons, was told to remain in the hallway, after her teachers debated where she should go for the emergency drill on Sept. 28.

“This wasn’t the teachers’ fault. They’re doing what they were told to do. Blame is pointless now. I want to stop being treated like an afterthought,” said the girl, in a letter which was read Tuesday evening to the county school board.

“What happened that day was the most humiliating and embarrassing thing I have ever dealt with,” she said. “I had to have my teachers debate my safety, when it is just common sense.”

New superintendent Scott Kizner told the board he had apologized personally to the student.

“We did not live up to my unwavering expectation that every child and adult — regardless of race, religion, color, disability, gender, and sexual orientation — is treated with respect and dignity, and for that I apologize to the student, the family, and the Stafford community,” Kizner said at the meeting, according to the Free Lance-Star.

After the meeting, Kizner told Fox 5 he is soliciting guidance from the LGBT community and other organizations and will make policy changes as needed.

“There’s no question the school system did not handle it the way it should be (handled), there’s no question the student was separated, there’s not question the school division needs to reassess its procedures and policies, to make sure … everybody feels respected, accepted, and feels safe in our schools,” Kizner told reporters.

Neal Augenstein

Neal Augenstein has been a reporter at WTOP since 1997. Through the years, Neal has covered many of the crimes and trials that have gripped the region. Neal's been pleased to receive awards over the years for hard news, feature reporting, use of sound and sports.

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