PORT WENTWORTH, Ga. (CBS Local) — A mother in Georgia says she was “furious” when she learned her daughter was pulled out of a school dance because of her identification as a transgender female.
Charissa Mehojah says her 13-year-old transgender daughter was wearing a black blouse, black slacks, eye shadow and a rose in her hair when she was pulled out of a Valentine’s Day dance at Rice Creek School in Port Wentworth, just northwest of Savannah.
“I was livid,” she told WJCL. “All she was wearing was an outfit that I or you would wear to go out to eat with a loved one.”
Mehojah says her daughter was pulled out the dance and isolated in the school library.
“[She was] crying and upset because this was the first time that she ever was able to express who she is inside in a public setting,” she said.
Mehojah says a school counselor told her she removed her daughter because she was wearing a costume. She says when she explained to the counselor and principal that her daughter is transgender, the principal asked her for “medical proof.”
“Rather than just apologizing and correcting the behavior, they asked me for medical proof that my daughter is transgender,” said Mehojah.
The Savannah-Chatham County Public School System said it is “working closely with the family to ensure the student is provided a supportive, caring learning environment,” but denied asking for “medical proof” that Mehojah’s daughter is transgender.
“Our information does not support the claim that the school principal asked for ‘medical proof’ in this situation. Rather, the word ‘medical’ was referenced when explaining the basis for certain policy exceptions.”
Mehojah says the principal has verbally apologized to her daughter, but no one has contacted her.
“Your formative years is when you start forming who you are at your core. You should be able to express that,” said Mehojah.