Students stage walkout after trans girl is stranded in locker room
Temple High School students protesting in support of a trans classmate (Instagram / @ johnny_salami17)
Dozens of students have taken a stand for trans rights by staging a massive walkout after one of their classmates was stranded in the girls’ locker room and restroom.
The protest kicked off at Temple High School in Texas on Wednesday (September 30) in support of a 16-year-old trans girl named Kendall Tinoco after sharing her experience on Instagram.
“Over the past few years, I’ve been in transition, to be more precise, I’ve been using the female toilet since grade 7. Teachers and staff have had no problem with this so far, earlier this month I was told I couldn’t use the changing rooms because there were “real girls” in there. », Wrote the high school student in the message.
“However, today [22 September] again my teacher mentioned that I couldn’t use the locker room because I’m trans.
“I mentioned to her that I had a form specifically saying that she was not allowed to tell a student, let alone tell her which locker room or toilet to use,” she added.
The post quickly went viral with over 4,000 likes, and a week later her classmates left their classes in protest.
Crowds of students could be seen flocking through the halls carrying LGBT + flags and banners, chanting, “Trans lives matter.” In one video, a teacher can be heard saying to the students: “It doesn’t matter, go to class”.
Tinoco told local news station 6 News: “Overall I was really proud to see all the people coming together and standing up for each other. Just support after support after support. It was truly amazing.
“I fought for my place to be treated equally, and people are aware of it.”
“I just wanted to help make a change, do whatever I could,” said junior student Akayla Shahan.
“We said what we had to say. We will not be silenced, ”added Stevie Williams, another student.
So many people joined the protest that members of the local security and police force were called to the campus to “help ensure the safety of staff and students,” according to the Temple Independent School spokesperson. District, Christine Parks. She noted that protests are allowed, but skipping classes is not.
Parks says 6 News that the high school administration met with the student and parent that week to review the district’s guidelines on enrolling transgender students.
These guidelines require that students be identified by their “legal last name” as it appears on the student’s birth certificate or other identification document and that they dress in accordance with school dress codes. ‘school.
They also require that all trans students have access to “gender-neutral” toilets, changing rooms and / or night-time facilities, such as a nurse’s office.