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Florida takes action after transgender student, born male, allegedly assaults girl in school bathroom

SylvieBouchard via Getty Images

The Florida Department of Education will develop rules requiring school districts to notify parents if their children are forced to share bathrooms and locker rooms with students of the opposite sex after an alleged sexual assault of a girl by a transgender student in a Florida public school bathroom was reported.

The incident allegedly occurred on June 20 at Space Coast Jr./Sr. High school in Brevard County, according to a police report shared on Facebook by state Rep. Randy Fine (R). A female student reported that a transgender peer, a male who identifies as female, came into the girls bathroom and "fondled" her breasts.

“We find this allegation deeply disturbing and troubling. Clearly, if Brevard Public Schools had commonsense policies that separate bathrooms and locker rooms by biological sex at birth, this incident would not have been possible,” Alex Lanfranconi, director of communications at the Florida Department of Education, said in a statement given to the Daily Wire Thursday.

“Unfortunately, some districts choose wokeness over the safety of their students,” Lanfranconi continued. “The Florida Department of Education will continue to take all steps within its power to protect parental rights and student safety by developing rules that will notify parents if their children are at risk of exposure to these types of situations.”

Fine first publicized the alleged sexual assault last week in a series of posts on social media. He wrote a letter to the Florida Department of Education requesting "immediate assistance in investigating an alleged sexual assault between a 'transgender girl' and another girl that allegedly took place in the bathroom of Johnson Middle School over the summer."

Brevard Public Schools officials denied the allegation and said no such incident happened at Johnson Middle School.

“There was no attack. No victim, no witness, no parents coming forward, nothing,” school district spokesman Russell Bruhn told the Orlando Sentinel. “Rep. Fine owes our staff at Johnson Middle School an apology for making this baseless allegation.”

Police officers from the Melbourne police department were assigned to investigate the lawmaker's allegation.

However, Fine later clarified that his letter had incorrectly identified the school where the assault allegedly took place.

"The claim as shared to me by parents was correct in all respects, save one: as things went through the game of telephone, it happened at a different school," Fine wrote in an Aug. 18 Facebook post.

"It is with no joy that I share that we now have proof there was a 'transgender' sexual assault incident this summer in Brevard Government Schools," Fine wrote, sharing a case report from the Brevard County sheriff's office.

Names of the students involved in the alleged incident were redacted because they are minors.

According to the report, a female student told the Brevard County sheriff's office that at around 11:45 am on June 20, she went to the girls' bathroom and a transgender student, a male who identifies as female, walked into the bathroom shortly after her. The transgender student began talking to her and then "fondled her breasts against her will and without her permission," the police report said.

The girl informed the sheriff's office she had previously told this transgender student to stop touching her and said she wanted to press charges because she felt "violated." She also said she does not feel comfortable using the same bathroom with the transgender student, according to police.

The transgender student denied touching the girls breasts but admitted to being in the bathroom with her, the report said.

The girl reported the incident to police on June 21. The case report said Space Coast Jr./Sr. High school Vice Principle Andy Papczynski was present when the the transgender student was interviewed by police and knew about the allegations.

School spokesman Russell Bruhn confirmed to the Daily Wire that "the incident at Space Coast Jr./Sr. High School was reported by the school to the Sheriff’s Office, Florida DCF and our Title IX partner.”

“All three investigated the claims and all three closed their cases with no action,” he said. “What was described in the Sheriff’s Office report is an incident that lead to no charges being filed. My quotes were in reference to a false allegation that a student had been raped at a different school.”

Bruhn also told the Daily Wire that school officials were aware of the incident at the time he denied a sexual assault took place at Johnson Middle School, but said they could not discuss the case without "violating FERPA, Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act."

“And again, the actual case and the fabricated cases are different,” he said.

Fine blasted school officials for having knowledge of the alleged incident while denying that any sexual assaults took place in school bathrooms.

"We should be able to trust Brevard Government Schools to put our children first. To not hide criminal activity that hurts our children. Brevard Government Schools should have openly and transparently addressed the concerns of these parents. But they refused, and even worse, gaslighted the public when I brought the issue to light," he wrote on Facebook.

"We should not be surprised," he added, "they believe boys should use the girls' bathroom."

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