Although it has zero factual basis, one of the most common arguments against trans people using their bathroom of choice is that it will enable cis men to gain access to women’s restrooms. This line of thinking has even led to bills and high-profile court cases. Now, a high school girl in Alaska has been punished for fighting back against a group of cis boys who staged an anti-trans “protest” in the girls’ bathroom.
According to The Washington Post, on the morning of April 4th, a trans boy attending North Pole High School in North Pole, Alaska, posted a selfie from the boys’ bathroom to Snapchat. Fairbanks North Star Borough School District Superintendent Karen Gaborik told the Post that a group of seven cis boys, angered by the picture, decided to “protest” by entering the girls’ bathroom. But their anti-trans demonstration ended quickly after a cis girl kneed one of the boys in the crotch as he came through the bathroom doors.
In a statement provided to Webcenter 11, a local NBC affiliate, Gaborik wrote that “discipline was issued to both the female student and to seven boys related to the incident.” However, the girl’s family told The Post that she had been expelled (although the district did not confirm this). In an interview with the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, state Representative Tammie Wilson said that the girl had been suspended, but the girl’s sister tweeted that she had, in fact, been expelled.
In her interview with the Daily News-Miner, Wilson argued that the girl had been defending herself and that her punishment was unjust.
Gaborik’s statement to Webcenter 11 said that trans students determine which bathroom to use on a case-by-case basis.
While we can’t know exactly what happened in that bathroom, it’s safe to say that the female student likely found herself surrounded by a group of hostile and prejudiced boys (who were, without a doubt, there to spread hate)—which we can only imagine was a stressful situation. We’re hoping to get more details as the story develops.