Emily LeVan, the mother of a central Ohio transgender girl, is extremely upset with social media harassment stemming from 9 year-old Keat’s transition.
Keat, born Keaton, underwent a name change last week. The proud mother posted on Facebook to celebrate the occasion, but was met with backlash from some other parents at Highland Elementary School. “I was celebrating it because it was a big step for us, and a couple of people took it upon themselves to berate me for it,” said LeVan.
One parent wrote that she is “terribly ticked that the parents are allowed to send their boy to school as a girl and put him in this embarrassing situation.” Another ignorant parent called it child abuse.
Keat says that she was teased by other children as she began her transition last year, with the children pointing out that she “was a boy last year.” Keat bravely responded that she is a girl, and it’s none of their business.
School officials confirmed the bullying allegations and noted that the matter was addressed immediately. The school has a zero tolerance policy for that type of bullying. Superintendent Bill Dodds said that the behavior on the part of other parents and students is “disgusting.” He said that they “don’t accept it, and [they] won’t accept it.”
LeVan says that the other parents’ irascible and terrible attitudes are troubling, but she is gratified that the school system has shown support of her daughter’s gender identity — especially considering that Ohio’s anti-discrimination law makes no specific reference to transgender youth, according to the school board.
If you would like to thank Superintendent Dodds for the school system’s support, the number for the District Office is (419) 768-2206.