Target: Leslie Busby, South Panola High School Principal
Goal: Protest the bigoted treatment of a transgender student by her classmates and their parents.
A mid-South community is at odds as a student from South Panola High School makes her transition from male to female. The student, a minor known only as “Leah,” recently chose to come out as transgender by dressing according to her gender, and beginning to live life as the person she truly is. The transitional process made waves at Leah’s school, where students refused to use the correct pronoun for her gender (referring to her as “he”). Parents, meanwhile, felt Leah’s transition was a distraction for other students.
In an attempt to battle Leah’s influence, students and parents banded together to arrange a protest against what they believe is a sign of South Panola High School’s discrimination. The protestors stated that they were attempting to insure that the school’s rules and policies were applied to everyone fairly. Student protestors were not allowed to enter their school when they arrived dressed in gym clothes – a dress code violation at South Panola. Students protested, claiming they were being punished for violating a rule that Leah, who “dresses as a female while technically a man,” is continually allowed to break. One parent said, “That to me is a double standard. What one rule goes for one, one rule goes for all.” A student suggested that Leah’s presence at school was distracting for students who had known her before her transition.
South Panola school officials stand by their rules and state that Leah is not violating any codes. As a female she is dressing appropriately for her gender. The behavior of South Panola High School’s students and their parents is not so commendable. They have chosen to make life for Leah as difficult as possible, ignoring the fact that she is female. Their refusal to accept her transition is a display of transphobia, and their claim that they are being discriminated against is ironic and insulting. Sign the petition below to condemn the bigoted protests arranged by South Panola High School students and their parents.
Dear Mr. Busby,
I am writing to you in regards to the recent protest launched by students at your school over what they claim is a discrimination case. I commend you and other school officials for standing by the young woman at the heart of the protest, and for repeatedly standing against the bigoted displays of South Panola’s students and their parents. I hope you will pass this letter on to the students and parents in question.
The behavior displayed by these students and their adult guardians is despicable, to say the least. They have ignored “Leah’s” wishes by continually referring to her as a man, and have made it their mission to make her life more difficult. They claim to be victims of discrimination while furthering a transphobic agenda. Their actions are both offensive and ironic. I am extremely disappointed that any students would take this stance, or that their parents would encourage such a stance.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: PhotoComiX @ Flickr.