The mother of 12-year-old Maddie is moving her family from Achille Oklahoma after threats on her transgender daughter’s life were made on the Achille Ok ISD parents Facebook group.
Time reports that for the second time in less than two years, Brandy Rose is planning to move her family to a new town, saying she no longer feels safe in Achille, Oklahoma because of violent threats against her transgender daughter, Maddie.
The Achille school district shut down for two days this week after adults in a parent Facebook group threatened the 12-year-old for using the girls’ bathroom at school. The incident renewed concerns that had driven the family from Sherman, Texas, where Maddie experienced “horrendous” school bullying after she transitioned. Some students had forced Maddie into the boys’ bathroom and taunted her to commit suicide, Rose said.
The move to Achille in 2017 was supposed to give Maddie a “fresh start.” Now the family is moving again — this time to Houston, seeking “a more open, diverse community for people like my daughter” — as Rose fears for Maddie’s safety in the small town where she became the center of a firestorm this week.
Rose also worries that Maddie’s classmates, most of whom did not know that she was transgender until this controversy erupted, might now begin to bully her.
“I don’t feel safe living here anymore. I can’t drop my daughter off at the movies anymore,” Rose tells TIME. “What if someone recognizes her in the Walmart parking lot? She won’t even sleep in her bed anymore.”
A concerned person from Oklahoma City began a GoFundMe “Move4Maddie” with a goal of $15,000 to help with the cost of a move.
In 48 hours she has raised over $20,000 to help her get a fresh start.
Rose initially avoided sharing details about the threats with Maddie, talking to her generally about staying safe and being aware of her surroundings. But Maddie was taking selfies with her mother’s phone on Saturday, when she discovered screenshots of some of the Facebook posts, in which adults had referred to her as “this thing” and a “half baked maggot,” threatening to “make him a female” with a “good sharp knife.”
“She looked at me and said, ‘Mom, is this what you were talking about? Are these about me?’ And she was mortified. She didn’t understand. She had no idea that people felt that way about her,” Rose says. “I didn’t even know how to have the conversation. I stumbled over my words. It was hard to get them out. I just wanted to hold her while she cried.”
“When she saw the screenshots in my phone, her exact words were, ‘You’ve ruined school for me,’” Rose says. “She didn’t want to go back to school at first.”
Maddie returned to school on Wednesday, when the district reopened after shutting down on Monday and Tuesday amid concerns about protests. As a precaution, more police officers were stationed at the school, and a hall monitor followed Maddie around to make sure there weren’t any problems.
One of the people associated with the threats against Maddie was allegedly threatened at their place of employment. Planet transgender does not condone threats or violence of any kind.