Lawsuit: Oklahoma Parent Says Daughter Was ‘Severely Beaten’ by Male Trans Student in Girls’ Bathroom

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AP Photo/Gerry Broome, File

An Oklahoma parent filed a lawsuit against Edmond Public Schools, alleging that her 15-year-old daughter was “attacked and severely beaten” in the girls’ bathroom by a 17-year-old male student who identifies as transgender, Fox25 reported on Wednesday. 

The lawsuit, which was filed on May 25, alleges that the attack happened on October 26, 2022, at approximately 7:15 a.m. The parent suing, Theresa Gooden, alleged that at the time of the attack, the school district knew that the male student was choosing to identify as female and that he “regularly used the girl’s bathroom and not the boy’s bathroom.”

The lawsuit points to a law Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) signed in August requiring public school students in Oklahoma to use restrooms that match the sex on their birth certificates. Students who claim to be transgender and who do not wish to comply must use a single-occupancy restroom or changing room provided by the school, according to the law. The complaint further notes that the law contains a cause of action clause for a parent of a student attending a school that does not comply.

The lawsuit alleges that the transgender student had a previous history of violence. On October 21, 2022, a few days before the alleged attack, the district had Edmond Police remove the transgender student from the girls’ bathroom and searched him for a weapon after his alleged threats against the girl were reported by another student, according to the complaint. 

The complaint also claims that at the time of the incident, the daughter told the assistant principal, Maryjel Cochrane, that the male student identified as transgender. The lawsuit alleged that the school never told the parent about the October 21 incident or that he used the girls’ restroom at the school.

The lawsuit alleges:

Despite Defendant’s actual knowledge of the above, Defendant allowed the male transgender student to continue using the girl’s bathroom, as opposed to requiring the male transgender student to use a bathroom that matched his birth certificate and/or paternity affidavit — boy’s bathroom — as required under the law.

“Defendant’s negligent failure and/or refusal to comply with the law resulted in Plaintiff’s injuries and damages,” the complaint continues, “which include but are not limited to, severe physical and mental injuries, severe physical and mental pain and suffering, and severe emotions distress.” 

Gooden is asking the court for $75,000 in damages from the school district to cover attorney’s fees and related lawsuit costs.

In December 2022, Edmond Public Schools Superintendent Angela Grunewald addressed the incident in a YouTube video, Fox25 reported. 

“You may ask yourself how can that happen?” Grunewald said. “It’s hard to explain, but if a parent comes in and enrolls their child as a certain gender, and when you look at that child by all social norms they look and present themselves as that gender, it’s not something that you would question.” Grunewald went on to say, “Also in high school, birth certificates are not required to start school. So there was no birth certificate in the (student’s) file at the time to verify one way or another”:

Grunewald added that the male transgender student is no longer enrolled in the school.

“We had two policies broken at this time. One, we have a policy against fighting. And we have a policy that our school board enacted in August of this school year that says all students must go to the bathroom of their birth gender, and both of those policies were broken,” Grunewald said, “And both of them have consequences. I can tell you consequences were given for both violations.”

The district did not further specify what the consequences were, according to the report.

The case is Gooden v. Edmond Public Schools, No. CJ-2023-2959, in the District Court of Oklahoma County State of Oklahoma.

RELATED: High School Student Calls Out School Officials for Not Protecting Girls from “Trans”-Identifying Biological Male Using Girls’ Bathrooms and Locker Rooms

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