The last three weeks have seen media outlets circulate not one but two false claims of harassment by transgender school children as fact, as The Transadvocate’s Cristan Williams revealed on Monday.

Earlier this month, conservative outlets rushed to report the bogus story that a transgender girl at Florence High School in Colorado was harassing other girls in the bathroom. The story was generated as part of a bigoted campaign against transgender students, and was proven false within days, as school administrators and statewide organizations debunked the harassment claims and defended the student involved.

Now, a San Diego ABC affiliate has picked up another false harassment claim about a transgender student in Los Angeles—originating from the same anti-LGBT group as the Colorado story.

A simple fact check would have prevented these harmful stories from circulating and propagating such dangerous and silencing lies.

In August, California passed legislation – the first of its kind – to protect transgender students from this exact form of bullying. The School Success and Opportunity Act (AB1266) addresses the exclusion of transgender students from classes and activities to ensure all students are provided the same opportunities. 

The discriminatory National Organization for Marriage and other extremists have fought this effort – and any attempt to protect transgender rights – using scare tactics around “privacy” and fictional stories of harassment like these.

HRC applauds Cristan Williams for debunking these media reports. Voice like Williams’s can mean the world to LGBT youth who struggle with acceptance in their communities and schools.

For more resources on creating learning environments that allow all students to thrive, check out HRC Foundation’s Welcoming Schools project and the upcoming Time to Thrive conference.

Filed under: Transgender, Media

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