The Department of Education's office for Civil Rights is investigating a Decatur, Georgia school district for how it handled allegations that a 5-year-old girl was sexually assaulted by a transgender student.
Pascha Thomas says her daughter was assaulted by a student who is a biological male, but identifies as female. He is allowed access to all female locker rooms, bathrooms, and shower areas thanks to the school district's transgender-friendly policy.
"When I dropped my child off at school, I never would think that she would be sexually assaulted in a bathroom by another little boy," Thomas said in an interview produced by Alliance Defending Freedom, the legal nonprofit representing her.
Thomas says her daughter got permission to leave class to go to the bathroom. It wasn't long before a male classmate allegedly walked in.
"She was pulling up her pants when one of her classmates came into the bathroom - a little boy. She tried to leave out of the bathroom. The little boy pushed her against the bathroom stall, basically pinned her up against there. She asked him to stop, he wouldn't," Thomas said, describing the sexual assault that happened next.
"She asked him to stop and stated several times that it hurt. He refused. Once he was done she went to class," she explained.
The five-year-old told her mom what happened. Thomas contacted the school's principal, who allegedly did nothing.
"I told the principal that I was demanding that the little boy be taken out the classroom. At that point she refused and said she would not take him out the classroom," said Thomas.
The ADF says the district "retaliated against the student's parent for reporting the sexual harassment" by identifying the mother as the "responsible party" in their referral of the incident to the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services.
Thomas says the DFCS investigated her because of the district's report against her.
The district Superintendent, David Dude, told CBN News in a statement that it "is committed to supporting all students."
"We are aware of the unfounded allegations made by the Alliance Defending Freedom," Dude's statement read. "We fully disagree with their characterization of the situation and are addressing it with the Office of Civil Rights."
The ADF says this never would have happened if the district had not introduced the policy.
This situation was both deeply tragic and avoidable," said ADF Legal Counsel Christiana Holcomb. "Schools have a duty to protect the privacy and safety of all students and Decatur Schools clearly failed this young girl. The current approach that many schools are taking of passing these transgender bathroom policies isn't working; they fail to provide basic privacy or ensure the safety of all students."
According to the ADF, Superintendent due and the Board were repeatedly warned through written statements and public comments that the policy would endanger girls by allowing any male who says he identifies as a female into private spaces.
The school district did not change or remove the policy.