A Mississippi high school is torn over support of a transgender student.
The students at South Panola High School in Batesville, Mississippi, are protesting what they believe is “special treatment” for a transgender student. Over 30 of the students are upset over the allowance of transgender student Leah to wear female clothing.
In a show of protest over what they feel is an unfair violation of dress code, those upset showed up to school dressed in gym shorts and sweatpants. Those students were not allowed into the building.
Superintendent Mike Foster feels that the student’s rights as a transgender could be violated under a gender-specific dress code. Foster plans to eventually change the dress code in allowance for transgenders.
According to the Huffington Post, Mike Foster commented on the school dress code:
“When [the transgender] student challenged that, we found out this was unconstitutional. People are people. Some are on one side and some on another.”
After Leah came out and shared her gender transition with fellow students and staff, she began dressing like a girl. Protesting students say it is discrimination to allow it because they believe Leah is breaking the high school dress code.
The faculty disagrees, saying that because Leah is now a female, she should be allowed to dress as such.
South Panola resident Betsy Chapman started the Facebook group “Mississippians Support Leah,” as a way to spread public awareness for the transgender student’s cause:
“As a mother and a Mississippian, I felt compelled to stand up in some small way for this child who is simply and bravely trying to live her life. And I wanted to provide a forum for others to do the same, at the same time demonstrating to the rest of the country that there are intelligent, compassionate, progressive Mississippians who insist on dignity and respect for all people.”
How do you feel about the Mississippi high school torn in support of a transgender student?
— James (@jazgar) March 1, 2013