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Trans student left out in the open during school shooting safety drill

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Administrators at a Virginia middle school were confused about where to send a trans student during a mass shooting safety drill last week, so they left her out in the open.

The drill took place at Stafford County Middle School and was supposed to organize students in case of an attack. According to Metro Weekly, individuals were to seek shelter during  "lockdown" in the nearest bathroom or locker room. 

But an unnamed transgender student never made it that far, instead, while others went to find safety, they were forced to sit in the bleachers while leaders of the school, "discussed where she should go."

Not being able to come to a conclusion, the staff instructed the student to sit alone in the hallway between the locker rooms during an exercise that is supposed to prepare her to seek safe refuge. 

“The student was forced to watch the adults charged with her care, debate the safest place (for the other students) to have her shelter,” Equality Stafford wrote. “During this debate, she was instructed to sit in the gym with a teacher until the drill was complete, away from her peers and identified as different. After some additional debate, she was made to sit in the locker room hall way [sic], by the door away from her peers.”

Equality Stafford didn't let the debacle go unnoticed. They accused the school of treating the student as a danger to others. 

“During an event that prepares children to survive an attack by actual assailants, she was treated as if she was so much of a danger to peers that she was left exposed and vulnerable,” they wrote.

In response to their actions, Stafford County Middle School’s spokesperson Sherrie Johnson said in a statement: 

“The new superintendent has requested a review of all protocols and procedures to ensure that all children are treated with dignity and respect. We take such matters very seriously and they will be addressed. The welfare of all students is of the utmost importance for SCPS.”

There will be a school board meeting on Oct. 9 and Equality Stafford is asking that parents and citizens attend to discuss how it should be handled in the future. They say not to blame the staff but their lack of training. 

"They are teachers without guidance in a county without guidance for these issues," Equality Stafford wrote on Facebook. "Teachers are often afraid of retribution by other parents or administration which causes confusion. These teachers need education and support and we need you to accomplish that. Please continue to support us and this family by highlighting what needs to happen and speaking up about your own stories."

But they also said ignoring the student was unacceptable, “this cannot happen to one more child. Not one more in this county. Not ever again.”