An Oklahoma parent has taken legal action against Edmond Public Schools, alleging that her 15-year-old daughter was the victim of a severe beating in the girls’ bathroom by a 17-year-old male student who identifies as transgender.
A mother in Oklahoma has filed a lawsuit against Edmond Memorial High School after her daughter was brutally assaulted in the women's washroom by a trans-identified male student.
The girl sustained injury to her eye, face, and head.https://t.co/9uHRlmlXfL
— REDUXX (@ReduxxMag) June 1, 2023
According to the complaint, the incident occurred on October 26, 2022, around 7:15 a.m. Theresa Gooden, the parent bringing the lawsuit, claims at the time of the attack, the school district was aware of the male student’s identification as female and his regular use of the girls’ bathroom instead of the boys’.
The case references a law signed by Gov. Kevin Stitt in August, which requires all Oklahoma public school students to use restrooms matching their biological gender listed on their birth certificates. Non-compliant transgender students must utilize single-occupancy facilities provided by the school.
The lawsuit highlights a clause within the law that grants parents the right to take legal action if their child’s school fails to comply.
The complaint discovered the transgender student had a prior history of violence, citing an incident on October 21, 2022, where Edmond Police were called to remove the student from the girls’ bathroom and conduct a search following alleged threats against the girl.
Additionally, the complaint asserts the 15-year-old informed Assistant Principal Maryjel Cochrane about the male student’s transgender identification at the time of the incident. However, the school allegedly failed to inform the parent about the October 21 event or the student’s use of the girls’ restroom.
The lawsuit argues the school’s negligence in enforcing the law led to the daughter’s physical and mental injuries, pain and suffering, and emotional distress. Gooden is seeking $75,000 in damages from the school district to cover attorney’s fees and related lawsuit expenses.
In December 2022, Edmond Public Schools Superintendent Angela Grunewald addressed the incident in a YouTube video. Grunewald stated the school did not question a parent’s enrollment of their child based on their gender identity and appearance, as birth certificates are not required for high school enrollment.
The video also revealed the male transgender student is no longer enrolled in the school. Grunewald acknowledged the violation of two school policies: one against fighting and another enacted by the school board in August, which stipulates students must use the bathroom corresponding to their biological gender.
Consequences were reportedly given for both policy violations, although specific details were not disclosed. The case, Gooden v. Edmond Public Schools (No. CJ-2023-2959), is currently pending in the District Court of Oklahoma County, State of Oklahoma.