NORTH POLE, Alaska - Reports from the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner say a female student at North Pole High School was suspended for kneeing a male student in the groin when he tried to enter the girls bathroom, but according to her family, she was expelled.
The incident, which occurred April 4, involved a group of seven boys who were allegedly protesting a transgender student, who is transitioning from female to male, using the boys bathroom.
According to reports, the boys entered the girls bathroom and blocked the female student from leaving the bathroom, after which, she kneed one of the male students.
State Rep. Tammie Wilson commended the girl's actions saying "I would have taught my daughter to do the same," according to the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner.
The boys involved involved in the incident were also punished but no details have been released in accordance with district policy.
Karen Gaborik, superintendent for the Fairbanks North Star Borough school district where the incident took place, told the News-Miner that there hadn't been issues with transgender students using gender-specific bathrooms in the past and defended the school's decision.
“We don’t advocate violence as a means for students to attain safety,” Gaborik told the News-Miner. “If a student does use force, we have to evaluate that incident.”
The boy who was kneed in the groin was allegedly sent to the hospital for treatment.
The transgender student wasn't directly involved in the incident, according to the News-Miner.
The Fairbanks North Star Borough School District issued the following statement in response to the incident:
The Fairbanks North Star Borough School District is committed to promoting a safe and orderly learning environment in its schools and classrooms. Students are expected to behave in a manner that will not disrupt the learning or school environment. If a student or staff members feels unsafe in any school facility, they should alert the building administrator, safety assistants, or other staff for assistance. The district encourages all students and staff to call 911 in an emergency.
The district does not encourage students or staff to use force against students, staff, or visitors to school facilities. Students or staff who use force against another person on school grounds could be subject to disciplinary action, depending on the facts and circumstances of the incident.
Student disciplinary actions are confidential as a matter of law and district policy. The district investigates incidents to determine if disciplinary action is warranted. Disciplinary actions are based on the facts as determined by the investigation, including any aggravating or mitigating circumstances.
The district cannot comment on any specific investigation or disciplinary action but can confirm that an investigation has been conducted by the district’s Title IX Specialist. The district can also confirm that disciplinary action was taken with multiple students. Students have the right to appeal certain disciplinary actions.
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