White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Thursday that America’s “trans community” is “under fire” just days after a former transgender student opened fire at a school in Nashville, Tennessee and killed six people.
“One of the things we saw during the midterm elections is that people don’t want their freedoms taken away from them. They want us to fight for their freedoms,” Jean-Pierre told reporters as she answered questions from the briefing room. “It’s shameful, it’s troubling and our hearts go out to the trans community as they are under attack.”
Jean-Pierre’s comments came when asked about the White House’s message to states across the country seeking to take action against certain measures affecting transgender minors, particularly the Kentucky Legislature’s vote on Wednesday to override the governor’s veto Andy Beshear opposed laws prohibiting overriding transgender procedures for minors, as well as restricted bathrooms based on biological sex.
“We support peaceful protests. We think it’s important for Americans and people across the country to make their voices heard — as long as it’s peaceful,” Jean-Pierre said. “We’ve made these anti-LGBTQ laws that we see in state legislatures across the country very clear, especially these anti-trans laws, because they target trans children and trans parents. It’s shameful and unacceptable. “
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“Like you said, tomorrow is [Transgender Day of Visibility]”, added her. “In a day when we should be lifting up our trans kids, our trans youth and making sure they feel seen, we see more and more of these hateful, hateful bills. That’s what Republicans want to spend their time with.”
During the briefing, Jean-Pierre also reiterated President Biden’s commitment to supporting transgender minors and their efforts in America.
“This is a president who has said many times before he has her back, he will continue to have her back and he will continue to fight for her,” she said. “His record shows that.”
Jean-Pierre’s comments on the state of transgender youth in America come after three children and three employees were shot dead Audrey Halea 28-year-old former transgender student, at Covenant School in Nashville on Monday.
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Principal Katherine Koonce, 60; substitute teacher Cynthia Peak, 61; and Janitor Mike Hill, also 61, were killed in the gunfire. Three 9-year-old students were also killed: Hallie Scruggs, Evelyn Dieckhaus, and William Kinney.
Hale shot through a locked glass door around 10:13 a.m. Monday and entered the school armed with two rifles and a pistol.
Officer Rex Engelbert, 27, arrived shortly after the shooting began and immediately began clearing classrooms with other officers in search of the shooter. As Hale began firing at other responding officers from the second floor, Engelbert ran upstairs with 31-year-old Officer Michael Collazo and confronted Hale, who was shot.
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had bought seven firearms legally from five different gun shops in the Nashville area and hid them from her family. Hale was receiving medical treatment for an unspecified emotional disorder at the time of the shooting, and Hale’s parents did not believe the perpetrator should own guns, police said.
A search of Hale’s vehicle and home turned up writing and hand-drawn diagrams the school This indicated that the attack was “calculated and planned,” according to police.
Jon Brown and Paul Best of Fox News and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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