In an attempt to deter students from being sexually assaulted, a transgender student at an elementary school in the US has been banned from school.
A transgender girl is the only person to be suspended for violating the school’s sexual misconduct code.
The school’s principal, Laura Williams, said the girl had “no choice” but to be punished.
“We have a zero tolerance policy on sexual assault and we will not tolerate it,” she said.
Ms Williams also said the school was “committed to helping students who are victims of sexual assault” and had a “zero tolerance” policy for discrimination based on sexual orientation.
“Our students will not be bullied or treated in any way that makes them feel unsafe,” she added.
Ms Niles told The Associated Press that she was a lesbian, and that her school had told her it would not welcome her.
She told the newspaper that she would have been suspended if it had been her boyfriend who had sexually assaulted her.
The boy, identified only as “P”, is not the only student to be expelled.
He was also expelled for kissing another student.
The student was charged with a felony after allegedly groping the student’s breasts and buttocks in March, and for being drunk and disorderly.
Ms Laine, the school principal, said students in her school’s LGBT program are “treated in a respectful way” but did not elaborate.
“Any student who is a member of any of our schools community is treated in a safe and supportive environment,” she told ABC News.
“They are encouraged to express themselves in ways that are supportive of their identity.”
Mr Niles, who was not in attendance for the announcement, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Mr Nile said that the district’s code of conduct was “the safest environment for our students” and that the student had been suspended pending a full investigation.
“I’m heartbroken and ashamed for this student,” he told the AP.
“This school has been an amazing, wonderful school for the past year, but I cannot see myself living in it.”
Students from other schools also attended the news conference.
One of the students, a 14-year-old boy, said he had received death threats.
He said that he had not reported the threats because he feared for his safety.
Another boy, who said he is gay, told the Associated Press: “If this is the school that I go to, then I’m going to die.”
He said he was not sure if he would be able to attend classes in the future.
The principal said she was “proud” that students who violate the school code would be expelled from school and had “zero-tolerance policies”.
Ms Williams did not have a specific list of students that have been expelled.
The US Department of Education does not track how many students are expelled for sexual assault or for other sexual misconduct.
The Department of Justice, which investigates schools for sexual misconduct, reported last year that at least 50 school districts in the United States have no reporting system to prevent students from coming forward.
The report found that a lack of awareness among schools on how to report and respond to sexual assault contributed to the problem.
“It is our job to educate the schools on their responsibilities to protect students and to protect them from harm,” Ms Williams said.
“And we do not have that in schools.”