Since we initially broke the story about Anna Foster, a 17 year old student at White Knoll High School in South in Lexington, South Carolina, we have received a firestorm of email from many different people who wish to add to the information that was initially reported. Unfortunately, it seems there is a lot more to this story than initially thought.
According to WISTV, a local news outlet, the district has received special permission from Anna’s biological parents in order to try and clear up some of the allegations being put against them.
The district has issued statements that Anna is actually no where near eligible for graduation. While Foster claims that she enrolled as a Junior in August of 2015, and eligible for early graduation this year- her officials transcript shows that she has completed less than 25% of her required coursework for graduation. Currently she sits at 4.5 credits out of 24 total credits needed, technically slating her as a freshman.
Before official consent was given from the biological parents, the district did issue a press release that gave what information they were legally allowed at the time, stating in fact she was only a freshman.
The Lexington County School District has went on to state that her suspension and possible expulsion have nothing to do with bathroom usage but rather a turbulent behavioral record which saw her largely refuse to attend class.
“In fact, on Tuesday, March 1, 2016, due to her continued refusal to attend class, administrators held a special review meeting with her and placed her on probation,” the district said. “Most recently, on Thursday, April 28, 2016, she was suspended and recommended for expulsion — again, for refusing to attend class.”
Regarding the bathroom issue, a spokesperson for the district revealed that Anna has been given a special pass that gives her permission to be late to any class or function so that she has time to use the restroom.
An unnamed source, close to the issue, disclosed to TOL how disruptive these proceedings have been to the school and that they have jeopardized several individuals jobs.
According to WIST, Foster’s supporters have asked several Midlands lawmakers to intervene. We spoke to a couple of them, and one, Lexington Sen. Katrina Shealy said she’s willing to step in to battle for Anna’s rights. But based on what she knows right now, Shealy says “there’s no fight to be had.”
While this still doesn’t respond to some of the claims of harassment from teachers, or other school treatment- and certainly doesn’t approach the issue of only allowing a trans student to use one remote bathroom; these facts do shine a new light on the case.
As of this writing, Anna Foster has reached out to TOL to talk but we have been unable to connect yet. We hope to get her response soon.
Editor’s note- We certainly don’t want to take away from the bathroom argument, in that it is ridiculous to assign trans students separate facilities, but it is important that we present all facts as we get them so that we can present a clear and fair picture that doesn’t damage the transgender community’s credibility in any way.