Kindergartner Sexually Assaulted in School Bathroom

National outrage is growing over the decision of a school in Decatur, Georgia to do nothing about the case of a five-year-old girl who was sexually abused in the school bathroom shortly the implementation of a new policy allowing students to use private facilities that correspond with their perceived gender.

According to Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), the non-profit legal firm that filed a complaint on behalf of the child who is known only as N.T., the City Schools of Decatur implemented a policy in 2016 to allow students who identify with the opposite sex to use private facilities such as bathrooms, locker rooms and showers, that corresponded with their perceived gender rather than their biological sex.

Superintendent David Dude informed staff about the new policy, but did not inform parents. The new policy was only discovered when the mother of a student happened to see something about it on the Superintendent’s Facebook page. An alarm was sent out to parents, none of whom knew about the change. Instead, the Superintendent just made the announcement quietly, on Facebook, during the summer months.

Parents immediately called a meeting with school district officials and the school board. They wrote letters, made phone calls, sent e-mails, but school officials remained unmoved. As a result, the policy was in effect throughout the 2016-2017 school year.

Finally, the school board put the policy on its meeting agenda in October 2017. Many people spoke, including the former chairman of the Board of Pardons and Paroles for the State of Georgia.

“Given his understanding of human nature, he specifically testified to his concern that this policy would be used by young boys to gain access to girls in private settings for mischievous purposes,” said Alliance Defending Freedom Allied Attorney Vernadette Broyles, with the Georgia Adoption & Family Law Practice.

“And it was as if he was prophetic, because that is precisely what has happened.”

A month after the school board meeting, little N.T. asked to be excused from class to use the restroom. While there, a boy came into the bathroom and, as N.T. was trying to leave, pinned her against the wall and began to assault her through her clothing. She told him to stop but he refused and assaulted her with enough force tp cause pain.

“Once he was done, she went to class,” her mother, Pascha Thomas, explained to the Christian Post. “I asked her if she told anyone about it. She started crying and said ‘No mama, I didn’t tell nobody, but I didn’t ask him to come in the bathroom with me. I didn’t know he was going to do that.'”

Thomas has been embroiled in a dispute with the school ever since. Not only did they ignore the assault and do nothing about it, Thomas has accused the City Schools of Decatur of blaming her for the incident and even sending the Department of Family and Children’s Services to investigate her family.

“What happened to her, I felt devastated, I felt angry. I felt betrayed,” Thomas said about her daughter in a moving video about the incident. “When I dropped my child off at school, I never would think that she would be sexually assaulted in a bathroom by a little boy.”

Thomas had no recourse but to turn to the ADF for help. A complaint was filed with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights who announced last month that it will investigate the incident which was filed against the City Schools of Decator on behalf of N.T.

“This situation was both deeply tragic and avoidable,” said ADF Legal Counsel Christiana Holcomb. “Schools have a duty to protect the privacy and safety of all students and Decatur Schools clearly failed this young girl. The current approach that many schools are taking of passing these transgender bathroom policies isn’t working; they fail to provide basic privacy or ensure the safety of all students.”

Broyles argues that a school’s top priority should be the safety of its students.

“Decatur School’s policies have created a stressful, unfair, and, as in this case, even unsafe environment — particularly for girls. We are grateful that OCR is investigating this tragedy, and we hope the agency helps this school district and others adopt commonsense solutions that protect the privacy and safety of all students,” she said.

According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, a school district spokeswoman said the district was “aware of the unfounded allegations” and that “we fully disagree with their characterization of the situation.” The statement added that there would be no further comment.

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