In a heart-wrenching case that has sent shockwaves through communities across the nation, a young girl's life was forever altered by a series of horrific assaults. However, this story goes beyond the initial tragedy; it delves into a complex web of issues surrounding parental rights and the role of educational institutions in shaping the lives of their students. The devastating events and the subsequent legal battle that has ensued should be a wake up call for parents across the country!
The Assaults on a Teen: A Tale of Unimaginable Horror in School Bathroom
The story begins with a teenager named Sage Blair, who had already endured a tumultuous childhood marked by early trauma and mental health challenges. Her struggles were compounded when she decided to transition to a male identity.
Instead, as Sage began her transition, she was met with a relentless barrage of bullying, harassment, and abuse from her peers at Appomattox County High School. The school, instead of providing a safe haven, clandestinely encouraged her to use the boys' restroom, further exposing her to the torment she faced daily. The extent of the suffering she endured is unimaginable.
The Role of Educational Institutions
At the heart of this tragedy lies the question of responsibility within educational institutions. Parents have an unquestionable right to be informed about and involved in their child's life, including crucial decisions regarding their education and well-being. In Sage's case, it appears that this fundamental rights of safety and parental oversight were tragically violated.
Schools have a duty to ensure the safety and well-being of all of their students. In Sage's case, it appears that this duty was tragically neglected. By allowing her to transition without involving her parents, the school took on a role that transcended education and veered into a realm that should be reserved for parents and guardians.
Furthermore, the school was negligent in protecting Sage specially in vulnerable spaces like bathrooms!
"School records also indicate bullying, although they do not capture the severity of what Sage eventually told her mom: boys were following behind her in a group, touching her, threatening her with knife violence and rape, and even shoving her up against the hallway wall. On Aug. 23, according to school notes, reports were received from students and teachers that Sage had used a boys’ bathroom and encountered hostile boys there. The school counselor met with Sage the next day to direct her to use the nurses’ bathroom for safety reasons.
Sage’s statement that “all the boys at this school are rapists” prompted the school to review hallway footage outside the bathroom, showing that several boys had entered while she was inside. On Wednesday, Aug. 25, the counselor and school resource officer called Sage into a meeting, where she became so emotional that the counselor recorded concern Sage might be “a risk to herself due to being so upset when leaving school.”" 
The Violence Perpetuated by the Court
After these horrific incidents, Sage disappeared and was then horrifically 'trafficked'. Over 9 days in multiple states she faced an unspeakable nightmare.
"After the 14-year-old was found being sexually assaulted in another state, a judge kept her from loving parents because they questioned her transgender identity. Then she was trafficked again." 
The Legal Battle Unfolds
In the aftermath of the assaults and the trauma inflicted on Sage, her family embarked on a legal battle to regain custody and seek justice for their daughter. This is where the issue of parental rights comes to the forefront.
Sage's adoptive mother and biological grandmother, Michele Blair, found herself in a nightmarish situation where her ability to make decisions for her child was called into question. She was deemed inadequate in her support for Sage's gender transition, a viewpoint that led to her temporary loss of custody.
Judge Robert Kershaw conducted multiple hearings, with a focus on Sage's asserted male identity and court-appointed attorney Aneesa Khan's efforts to provide evidence of gender identity mistreatment. During these proceedings, he called upon two Appomattox school counselors to testify against Sage's parents. Although his final ruling, issued on November 10, 2021, reluctantly granted custody to the parents, Kershaw expressed a lengthy opinion, suggesting that it was "more likely than not" that Sage had experienced "emotional abuse and neglect by his parents," which included instances of "misgendering" and "misnaming." Notably, Kershaw cited Sage's relocation from Virginia to Maryland as evidence of parental abuse, unaware that Sage had, in fact, been abducted, subjected to assault, and trafficked across state lines.
It is a chilling reminder of the power that professionals in the education and legal systems can wield over a parent's rights.
In response to the harrowing experiences of her daughter, Michele Blair has become an advocate for change. She has championed a proposed legislation known as "Sage's Law," which seeks to prevent schools from hiding gender identity choices from parents. This law, if passed, would represent a significant step towards ensuring that parents are included in decisions that have a profound impact on their children's lives.
Sage's Law is a bill introduced in Virginia by Del. Dave LaRock in January 2023. The bill aims to prevent schools from hiding gender identity changes from parents, which led to a case of sex trafficking of a girl who identified as trans. The girl's high school hid her change in gender identity from her mother, who learned of it the same evening that the girl ran off and was trafficked. The bill would require schools to notify parents of any gender identity changes and prohibit schools from encouraging children to hide such changes from their parents. The bill is named after the girl who was trafficked. If enacted, Sage's Law would provide protection for children and parental rights.
The story of Sage Blair is a heartrending one, marked by tragedy, assault, and a legal battle that continues to unfold. It serves as a stark reminder of the importance of parental rights, school responsibilities, and the challenges faced by transgender youth.
As Sage's Law makes its way through the legislative process, it is our hope that society will learn from this painful experience and strive for a more compassionate and equitable approach to handling such delicate matters. In the end, it is the shared responsibility of parents, schools, and the legal system to ensure that no child has to endure the horrors that Sage Blair experienced.
Parent's and grandparents are not without resources nor are they left to react after tragedy strikes. Some suggested actions:
Learn About Parental Notifications - Contact your public school and ask for their policies regarding parental notification of student health especially with regard to gender dysphoria.
Learn About Bathroom and Locker Room Policy - Contact your public school and ask for the policies regarding bathroom and locker room access, particularly regarding biological sex access and segregation.
Insist on Safety and Transparency - If your schools does not have adequate policies in these areas insist upon it. Attend school board meetings and calmly and succinctly present your case.
Get Help - Find local parent's organizations that are working toward these goals. Contact GSI we have resources and may be able to connect you with local support. There is power when we work together!