High school students in Temple, Texas participated in a peaceful protest to support their transgender classmate who was denied female locker room and bathroom privileges by an unspecified teacher.
Temple High School students walked out of class after third period on Wednesday in solidarity with fellow classmate Kendall Tinoco, a 16-year-old trans girl in her junior year.
You can watch a news report here.
Tinoco told reporters:
"Overall, I was really proud to see all of the people come together and stand for one another."
"Just support after support after support. It was really amazing."
"I fought for my place to be treated equally, and people are aware of that."
Temple ISD Junior Akayla Shahan told the local news channel:
"I just wanted to help make a change. Do whatever I could."
Another student, Stevie Williams, said:
"We said what we had to say. We will not be silenced."
The students marched in protest a week after Tinoco wrote about her negative experience at the school in a viral Instagram post.
"Over the past few years I've been in transition, to be more specific I've been using the females' restroom since the 7th grade."
"Teachers and staff has had no issue with it until now, earlier this month I was told I couldn't use the locker room because there were 'actual girls' in there."
"However today [22 September] yet again my teacher mentioned I could not use the locker room because I am trans."
"I mentioned to her that I have a form specifically saying she has no right to tell a student that let alone tell them what locker room or restroom to use."
Dozens of videos were posted on the internet showing LGBTQ+ flag-bearing students marching down the school halls and chanting "Trans lives matter."
Temple Independent School District spokesperson Christine Parks said "additional security and Temple PD were on campus to help ensure the safety of staff and students."
"Students have the right to peaceful protests."
"However, if such activities result in student behaviors such as skipping class or leaving a classroom without permission, then these Student Code of Conduct violations will result in consequences as outlined in the Code of Conduct."
Parks said the high school administration met with Tinoco and her parent to review the district's Enrollment of Transgender Students guidelines.
The guidelines consisting of three basic points stipulate students are to be identified by their "legal surname" as it appears on the student's birth certificate or another identity document "or in a court order that changes the student's name."
Students are also required to dress in accordance with the school dress codes.
A third point stated:
"In order to allow privacy for all students, a 'gender-neutral' restroom, locker room or changing area, and/or overnight facility (i.e. faculty unisex restrooms or nurse's office) will be available to any transgender student."