Theresa Gooden and her attorney, Greg Andrews, appeared on "Fox & Friends First" to discuss the lawsuit and why the school broke the law by allowing a biological male in the female restroom. Gooden filed a lawsuit last week seeking $75,000 in damages for "severe physical and mental injuries, severe physical and mental pain and suffering, and severe emotional distress" that she claims her child suffered at the hands of the 17-year-old student at Edmond Memorial High School in October 2022.
According to the lawsuit, the accused attacker was assigned male at birth and was using the women's bathroom despite a state law requiring public school students to use restrooms matching the sex on their birth certificates. The transgender student, who had recently enrolled in the school, had made previous threats of violence against the victim and was searched for weapons by police. Gooden's attorney said her daughter told the vice principal then that the student was a male.
"They knew firsthand at that point that there was a chance it was a boy based on what my client's daughter said," Andrews said. "The police report indicates they did have a paternity affidavit on file in the student file that identified the boy as a male. So the school is just lying, and they didn't comply. I can't wait until we get discovery in this, because it's clearly going to show that they violated the law."
Gooden said although her daughter has recovered physically since the attack, she is still traumatized emotionally. "It's not OK. That was a brutal attack on my daughter because they didn't follow guidelines. I expect my daughter to be safe at school." Edmond Public Schools Superintendent Angela Grunewald spoke out publicly after the incident in a video posted to YouTube in December, saying the 17-year-old was enrolled as a female.
"In high school, birth certificates are not required to start school. So there was no birth certificate in the (student's) file at the time to verify one way or another," Grunewald said. "If a parent comes in and enrolls their child as a certain gender, and when you look at that child by all social norms they look and present themselves as that gender, it's not something that you would question," she added.
The school District said, "Because this matter is in litigation, there is little that can be said at this time. However, Edmond Public Schools is confident that when the facts are presented, it will be determined that the district fully complied with the law and acted in a reasonable manner."
Gooden's lawsuit alleges that the school District failed to protect her daughter from harm and violated state law by allowing a biological male to use the female restroom.
The lawsuit seeks damages for the physical and emotional harm caused to her daughter. Gooden said she hopes the case will bring accountability to the school District and prevent similar incidents from happening in the future. "It's pretty traumatizing," Gooden said Friday. "It wasn't a regular fight, it was a beatdown."