Superintendent apologizes after transgender student left out in hallway during lockdown drill

At a school board meeting Tuesday night, Stafford County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Scott Kizner apologized to a transgender middle school student who was told she could not take shelter in either the girls or boys locker rooms during a recent lockdown drill.

The meeting was packed with dozens of supporters of the LGBTQ community, organized by the group Equality Stafford. The advocates wore purple and held rainbow flags and signs while more than 20 speakers urged the school board to adopt policies inclusive of transgender students.

Dr. Kizner said in an interview Tuesday night that he personally supported allowing transgender students to have the option to use the bathrooms and locker rooms that match with their gender identity. He said he would work with the school board to come up with policies and practices that allow that in the coming weeks, but did not give an exact timeline.

The superintendent said he spoke to the student and her parent, and apologized for the Sept. 28 incident. School officials are not naming the school to protect the student's privacy.

At Tuesday's meeting, a family friend read from a letter written by the student, who explained she had been denied the opportunity to use the girls' bathroom at 10 years old. She is now 14.

"Now four years later, I'm still having to deal with being separated and being treated like an outcast. What happened that day was the most humiliating and embarrassing thing that I have ever dealt with. I had to have teachers debate my safety when it is just common sense," wrote the student.