A trans teenager in Tennessee was viciously bullied by transphobes simply for using the bathroom, but he could be the one that’s punished.
Tobi Yandle is a 16-year-old student at Siegel High School in Tennessee, who has been told by school administrators that he must only use a private faculty toilet rather than the correct bathroom for his gender, according to WTVF.
Recently, Tobi was left with no choice but to enter the boys’ bathroom at his school, as someone had locked the faculty toilet.
His mother, Sherri Yandle, told the news channel that her son “ducked into the boys’ room and went into the first stall he saw available”, but was immediately targeted with transphobia by other boys in the bathroom.
“He said some boys started chanted transphobic slurs, and then it got louder and louder,” she said.
“They started hitting and kicking at the stall door, so Tobi had to use his back to brace it and then put his foot on the toilet to keep the door shut.”
Eventually, the school’s assistant principal intervened, Sherri said. But the bullies have not seen any consequences, and it turns out that her son could actually be the one that is punished.
In May, Republican Tennessee governor Bill Lee signed horrific anti-trans legislation which allows students and parents to sue if a trans person is allowed to share bathrooms and changing rooms with them.
Sherri said: “They are not supposed to let any child be bullied, and all children are supposed to be safe when they go to school and in that instance, I feel like this school failed… I don’t understand why my son would be punished when he’s the victim of what to me is a hate crime.”
In a statement, the local Rutherford County school district and sheriff’s office said: “Although the school district has not been contacted directly by this parent, an assistant principal at the school has spoken with the student and the student’s mother concerning an alleged incident in the bathroom, although there are some variances in the story.
“Rutherford County Schools does have a policy in place that allows students or employees to use private, single stall bathrooms if needed and requested.
“The state of Tennessee also has enacted a new law concerning transgender students and bathroom use, and the school district is required to follow this law.
“However, the school district will investigate any allegations of sexual harassment or discrimination under the federal Title IX act.”
Two trans children are suing Tennessee over its reviled bathroom bill
Two trans children and their parents have filed a lawsuit against the state of Tennessee over the anti-trans bathroom bill, arguing that the law violates Title IX, the federal law that prohibits sex-based discrimination which the Biden administration has confirmed offers protections on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
The lawsuit was filed by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation on behalf of the two children, one of whom is just six years old.
The advocacy group’s president Alphonso David said in a statement that the bill was “morally reprehensible”, and added: “With our representation of two transgender kids today, we are sending a strong message of support for all transgender and non-binary children across the country – you matter, and your legal rights should be respected.”