A central Ohio mother says other parents are harassing her transgender child on social media.
Emily LeVan’s child, who was legally born as a male, changed her name from Keaten to “Keat” in order to reflect the female gender she identifies with.
Her mother supported Keat and “celebrated” the change on Facebook.
She tells 10 TV that’s when parents of other students at Keat’s school, Highland Elementary school in Morrow County, wrote a number of derogatory messages.
“This is child abuse!” one parent commented.
“I am terribly ticked that the parents are allowed to send their boy to school as a girl and put him in this embarrassing situation,” wrote another.
“I was celebrating it because it was a big step for us, and a couple of people took it upon themselves to berate me for it,” said LeVan.
She said that wasn’t the only hurdle for Keat. When she first transitioned last year, Keat was teased by her peers.
“They said I was a boy last year,” Keat recalled. But he would respond, “I’m a girl, and it’s none of your business.”
Highland Local Schools District Superintendent Bill Dodds said Keat was bullied and that the matter was addressed immediately because the district has a zero tolerance policy on bullying.
“I never want any of our children to be bullied for any reason,” Dodds told 10 TV. “It’s disgusting.”
LeVan says the school district has embraced Keat and her transition. She says it’s time for the community to do the same.
“She’s a bigger person than a lot of adults,” LeVan said of her daughter. “I’m just so proud of her.”
Under Ohio’s state antidiscrimination law there is no mention of transgender youth.