NORTH POLE, Alaska — An Alaska school district has expelled a girl after she kicked a boy in the groin when he tried to enter the girls’ restroom at a high school, the girl’s family said.
A group of North Pole High School boys tried to enter the bathroom to take a photo as a “form of protest,” Fairbanks North Star Borough School District Superintendent Karen Gaborik said in a statement Monday.
Some boys were upset after a transgender student had taken a selfie inside the boys’ restroom earlier this month and shared the photo on social media, Gaborik said. Only one boy made it past the door frame when the girl exiting the restroom encountered the group on April 4.
“The female student kicked the first male student in the groin,” Gaborik said. “The male students turned around and left the area.”
The district’s Title IX investigator examined the confrontation, finding no evidence that the boys were threatening or using force, Gaborik said. The federal Title IX law protects against gender discrimination in education.
“Based on the results of the investigation, school administration issued discipline on April 8 to both the female student and to seven male students involved in the incident,” Gaborik said. “The male students were disciplined for attempting to enter the restroom.”
The district declined to say how the students were disciplined, citing student confidentiality protections. The district did not name the students involved.
The girl’s family told the Anchorage Daily News that she was expelled, but they are appealing the expulsion. They declined to comment further.
The high school continues to have conversations among students about transgender students and the use of restrooms, Gaborik said
“In regards to transgender students, when a student identifies as transgender in our district, the student (and often the family) work with school counselors and administration to determine how to best meet that student’s educational needs,” Gaborik said. “The conversation includes use of restrooms.”