Glen Arden Elementary Staff Forced This 6 year old To Pee Herself, Twice

Glen Arden Elementary
Glen Arden Elementary

Twice during kindergarten at Glen Arden Elementary, NC 6-Year-old Emma was denied the use of the girls’ room. Twice she couldn’t hold it as a teacher led her humiliated, across the school. And twice during this precious young child’s life, Emma was sent home, clothes and shoes soaked in her own pee.

The school, Glen Arden Elementary, a hundred miles west of Charlotte in rural North Carolina had been well informed of Emma’s Transgender status before the beginning of the school year. Emmy’s parents had done the hard work before Emma started school, educating themselves and putting together a plan to inform the school about Emma. They rightfully believed Emma would be called by her authentic name and gender, but she was denied that and the most basic of rights.

Huffington Post documented the effects of HB2 on Emma’s life on a road trip series called “Listen To America”.

Glen Arden Elementary
Emma’s family

Amy and Kevin Smith live in a modest home in a small community outside of historically liberal Asheville, North Carolina with their three children and a menagerie of pets. In 2014, Emma, their youngest child, who was assigned male at birth, began gravitating towards toys and clothing traditionally understood for girls.

“She always had girl tendencies,” Kevin told Huffington Post. “She’s always been petite, she’s always been sweet like a little girl. Before we ever realized, she was always wanting pink and girls’ toys, dolls. We didn’t really know what was going on with it, we just thought, ‘Pink, blue, what makes a difference? We don’t care.’”

For a few years, the parents thought Emma’s preference for girls’ toys and clothing might just be a phase. But as time passed and Emma began trying to articulate her understanding of the world around her, it became clear that something was different about Emma from her two older brothers.

Emma entered her first day of kindergarten at Glen Arden Elementary in August 2016 wearing a white dress with flower embroidery that she picked out herself.

Amy and Kevin thought that if they simply told Glen Arden educators about Emma’s personal journey with gender and identity, they’d be met with support and understanding. But, according to the couple, Emma faced immediate resistance.

“It just turned into a mess,” Kevin said. “They wouldn’t [call her Emma], they refused to do it, the teachers wouldn’t do it. So we had to get a meeting with the principal and formally tell them, ‘Her name is going to be Emma.’ But the teacher she was with from day one disagreed with it, and expressed her feelings to Emma daily. Emma would say she had girl hair and the teacher would tell her, ‘No, you’ve got boy hair. You’re a boy.’”

So this brings us back to the beginning of Emma’s story here at Planet Transgender. But perhaps it’s just the beginning of your story.

Glen Arden Elementary
Address: 50 Pinehurst Cir, Arden, NC 28704 (Map)
Phone: (828) 654-1800
District: Buncombe County Schools

Previous articleWashington, DC suburb begins school year with transgender protections
Next articleBipartisan Effort to Stop Trump’s Military Trans Ban Underway
Kelli, Busey is managing editor at Planet Transgender


  1. Charlotte did not require doing away with men and women’s restrooms, they required that trans people had a bathroom that matched their gender identity. Men could have still gone to a men’s room and women could have still gone to a women’s room. Being thoughtful of those who may seem different is not sticking it to the Republicans.

  2. This is similar to our experience in a rural school in Massachusetts. Even after sending the administration the laws adopted by our state under civil right constitutional protections and threatening a lawsuit through the ACLU, they continued and continue to this day with other transgender youth. I moved my child to an alternative school.

  3. she’s defending this child and saying the school is abusing the child. Her hate is in the right direction here. Trans or not, no child should have to pee themselves because of a bathroom issue.

  4. Please also read the comments in the Asheville Citizeb tines about this. The principal was 90% of the issue and is horrible to lots of families.

  5. Welcome to North Carolina, home of HB2, the legislation that creates this horrific tale. While almost all businesses in Asheville offer non-gender-specific bathrooms, thumbing their noses at this horrendous legislation. Schools don’t, and the educators at Glen Arden apparently won’t stand up for fear of losing jobs and funding. The bill was modified as a way of molliifying criticism and boycotting, but it wasn’t repealed. Little Emma is a living example of why we need to keep the pressure on the legislators to all-out repeal HB2.

  6. I am beyond apalled that the teachers and administration would do THIS to this beautiful little girl. How do they sleep at night knowing that they have broken this beautiful souls spitlrit!! My heart breaks for emma and her amazing family!! Hang in there little one… not everyone believes as they do. You will grow to do amazing things. My heart is with you!!!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here