The family of a high school student in Virginia has filed a lawsuit against the Appomattox County School Board and district staff, claiming that their daughter was secretly transitioned to a male by school faculty without their knowledge. This alleged transition led to a series of events in which the teenager ran away and became a victim of sex trafficking.
According to the lawsuit, the student, named Sage, had a troubled childhood and suffered from mental health issues when she started attending Appomattox County High School in 2021. While at the school, Sage began identifying as male with the support of school staff, something that her parents claim was deliberately concealed from them. The transition also resulted in severe bullying by classmates, which the school staff were reportedly aware of.
The bullying eventually led Sage to run away from home, and she was subsequently kidnapped and raped by multiple men in four different states. Although she was eventually rescued by federal authorities, the trauma did not end there. A public defender in Maryland fought against returning Sage to her parents' custody, arguing that they were not affirming enough of her new gender identity. As a result, Sage was placed in a juvenile facility for adolescent males where she allegedly experienced further sexual assault and denial of medical and mental health care.
Sage later ran away from the facility and was found by another individual who trafficked her to Texas, where she was again subjected to rape, drug use, starvation, and torture. Eventually, law enforcement in Texas rescued Sage and notified her mother, who brought her back to Virginia.
The family's attorney has stated that Sage has had to undergo intensive therapy to address the extreme trauma she experienced and now suffers from complex post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
The case has garnered attention from Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin, who has released new guidance aimed at addressing school policies that may have contributed to Sage's situation.
Sage's mother emphasized that while her daughter may always struggle with the memories of her traumatic experiences, she will be loved and supported through it all. The family is taking things one day at a time and looking forward to a brighter future for Sage.