ONTD Political

Students Protest over Transgendered Student's "Special Treatment"

8:25 pm - 02/27/2013
BATESVILLE, MS -

(video will not embed: link)

(WMC-TV) - The controversy over a transgender student at South Panola High School continues and this time, students are protesting.

About 30 to 40 students at the school say they were not allowed inside Wednesday because they were wearing gym shorts and sweatpants.

The kids violated the dress code in an effort to tell school officials that the special treatment of the transgender student is unfair. The kids say she is violating the dress code by not wearing clothing appropriate for her gender.

The student, who we are identifying only as "Leah" because she is a minor, was born male. The student recently came out and announced her
transition to a female. That is when she began dressing to match the gender to which she is transitioning.

"The first step in that is really to start dressing according to your gender and today [Monday] was about going to school and being able to be the person that she is," said Bear Atwood, legal director for Mississippi American Civil Liberties Union told Action News 5 earlier this week.

Students are protesting Wednesday because they feel they are now being discriminated against because the transgender student is breaking the school's dress code and they are being punished for doing the same thing.

One of the students involved in the protest says it all boils down to rules.

"Told us, 'Everybody that has on jogging pants, follow us.' So we went to the band hall," said senior Logan Roberson. He says all of the
students who violated the dress code were forced to change their clothes.

Roberson and parents say if Leah can dress in female clothing when she is still technically a man, they should be able to wear sweat pants and gym shorts.

"That to me is a double standard. What one rule goes for one, one rule goes for all," said parent Allen Jones.

The student handbook states, "Students will dress in conformity with accepted community standards. No student will dress in a manner which will cause other students to be distracted. Students are also expected to wear clothing in keeping with their gender. Sweat pants or athletic gear are not allowed."

"How distracting is it for you walk down the hallway and see a boy you've known since kindergarten, now a girl, wearing high heels walking, that's distracting to you," continued Roberson.

School leaders say Leah is not violating the school dress code. They say she is now a female and she dresses like one. Action News 5's call to Leah's ACLU attorney was not returned Wednesday.

School leaders say they are in the process of changing the district's dress code.



http://www.wlox.com/story/21415682/students-accuse-school-of-discrimination

ETA:
Angry Parents Mobilize Against Transgender Student in MS With "Prayers for South Panola School District"
Talks about the fb page angry parents created in the name of Christ.
""This page isnt for bashing a single student. its for the people who have strong belief in the Lord and what he does for us that created this
page. the incident that happened yesterday was just an example of not only the governments power but the power of satan.""
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roseofjuly 28th-Feb-2013 07:00 am (UTC)
If someone else's clothes - well within the dress code, just not exactly what you expect - are distracting to you, then you need some help.
lady_tigerlily 28th-Feb-2013 07:42 am (UTC)
MFTE. Thank you.

ETA: Way to miss the point, other students.

Edited at 2013-02-28 07:43 am (UTC)
romp 28th-Feb-2013 07:03 am (UTC)
I never bought that "distracting" argument. This is a great chance for these kids to learn about life and maybe realize what their values are. Do they want to support a member of their community or do they want to be small-minded haters like their parents.
confectionqueen 28th-Feb-2013 02:48 pm (UTC)
Cute boys used to distract me a lot in school, we should ban them so I can focus on my studies.
zinnia_rose 28th-Feb-2013 07:07 am (UTC)
"How distracting is it for you walk down the hallway and see a boy you've known since kindergarten, now a girl, wearing high heels walking, that's distracting to you,"

Let me clue you in on something, buddy -- Leah's not the one with the problem here.
circumambulate 28th-Feb-2013 07:23 am (UTC)
Yes, my little snowflake. Please continue with how someone needs to suppress their gender identity in order to keep you from being "distracted". However will you muddle through.
hermyfan 28th-Feb-2013 07:24 am (UTC)
I'm just confused by the dress code in the first place. Would it apply to girls wearing a guy's football jersey? Having said that, glad to see the school administration standing up for this girl's rights. The students need to be sat down and have the difference between sex and gender explained to them.
unbridledglee 28th-Feb-2013 07:48 am (UTC)
the phrase "parents mobilize against transgender student" is already a huge red flag. I mean, "mobilize against" A KID. For being "distracting". What are you doing, people?!

Students are also expected to wear clothing in keeping with their gender.

...Which is what the kid is doing, so what's the problem, dipshits? This says "gender", not "technical/biological sex".

At least the school is not being an idiot. +1 for them.
alicephilippa 28th-Feb-2013 08:00 am (UTC)
'E gads. The ones with the problem isn't Leah. It's the bigoted little snowflakes and their parents.

Time they learned about life and that the Bible and Church don't define what had how people feel within themselves at the core of their being.
phililen3 28th-Feb-2013 09:21 am (UTC)
"How distracting is it for you walk down the hallway and see a boy you've known since kindergarten, now a girl, wearing high heels walking, that's distracting to you," continued Roberson

Do you know how badly GIRLS BORN AS GIRLS dress? Just go to anywhere and you will see things only a doctor should be privy to. Stop complaining about jack and just admit to that fact that you are bothered by transexuality.
It bothers you? Look away/get over it/etc...
sunhawk 28th-Feb-2013 01:00 pm (UTC)
Uh this little bit of misogyny is uncalled for, you can take your judgey attitude about what girls wear period and stuff it.
lolcatielol 28th-Feb-2013 09:21 am (UTC)
I hope Leah's parents are supporting her (I'm assuming they are because she's making the transition, but you never know) because she is going to need it. She is probably 16-18 and is hearing from people who she's known since she was 4-5 that being herself is "distracting" and that wanting to express her gender is the same as wanting to be a lazy ass and wear sweats.

The school website says that enrollment is about 1100 students. So that means about 1060 students aren't "distracted" by seeing her in heels. They better not back down on letting Leah wear her clothes for the asshole ~4%.
schmanda 28th-Feb-2013 10:03 am (UTC)
I hope Leah's parents are supporting her (I'm assuming they are because she's making the transition, but you never know)

That Deep South Progressive page linked to a pro-Leah response page on FB, which I went to and saw that Leah herself has commented on and her mother has been in contact with them. From there I found Leah's mom's page (yeah, I'm a little squicked in hindsight that I did so :\ ), and I think it's pretty safe to say that she's not merely supporting Leah but is doing so fiercely.

Edited at 2013-02-28 10:03 am (UTC)
karma_aster 28th-Feb-2013 09:24 am (UTC)
But Leah IS a girl, so her choice of dress is perfectly appropriate. Maybe she didn't live as a girl when you lot first met her, but she IS a girl now. Accept that and get over it.
schmanda 28th-Feb-2013 09:38 am (UTC)
"How distracting is it for you walk down the hallway and see a boy you've known since kindergarten, now a girl, wearing high heels walking, that's distracting to you," continued Roberson.

Oh, shut up.

I always love a good train wreck, so I gave the "Prayers for South Panola" FB page a look-see. Happily, as of right now, the page owners are getting roundly schooled.
moonshaz 28th-Feb-2013 11:00 am (UTC)
Yay!!
bizwac 28th-Feb-2013 09:46 am (UTC)
Yeah, the students/parents suck and should stfu, but I am still side-eyeing the fuck out of "Students are also expected to wear clothing in keeping with their gender." What does that even mean? Girls must always wear dresses and pink?
Really, just let people wear what they want to damnwell wear.
kittenmommy 28th-Feb-2013 10:52 am (UTC)

the incident that happened yesterday was just an example of not only the governments power but the power of satan.

No. A bunch of people harassing a child and banding together to make a Facebook page to continue that harassment is an example of the power of Satan.
rainbow_fish 28th-Feb-2013 11:00 am (UTC)
The protest is gross, but i do think the protesters (probably unbeknownst to them- and probably NOT at all what they were going for) actually are pointing out why being forced to "dress according to your gender" is a fucking stupid thing to put in any dress code ever.

Instead of trying to regulate gender expression, maybe the school could teach that gender isn't inherently binary, that it's a social construction, and that at the end of the day, another person's gender identity and expression has nothing to do with anyone else.

Or even more so, maybe the school should just take discriminatory policies out of its dress code and teach the kids some fucking algebra or something.
tinylegacies 28th-Feb-2013 07:41 pm (UTC)
actually are pointing out why being forced to "dress according to your gender" is a fucking stupid thing to put in any dress code ever.

Yeah, WTF does it even MEAN? Are girls forced to wear dresses and skirts because pants are "unfeminine"?
tabaqui 28th-Feb-2013 12:00 pm (UTC)
What a fucking grotesque 'protest'. If the kids are acting this way, i hate to see how the parents act. Nasty.
the_physicist 28th-Feb-2013 12:06 pm (UTC)
Really fucking gross. I hope the kid can get out of that situation, like, I know it's not always possible, but I hope the family can move away. Ideally, of course, I hope the bigots wake up, but my experience is that they stay hateful. So I'm worried for her safety. Kids can be worse than cruel, especially if they are being validated by a whole community that their transphobia is acceptable.
toastieghostie 28th-Feb-2013 12:10 pm (UTC)
lmao ~*~ the power of satan ~*~!!! gonna just giggle at that because the rest of the article makes me so sad. what happened to the trans* boy whose frat brothers paid for his top surgery???

and good on the school for defending her, but that's a shitty rule in the first place tbh. if it were the other way around I feel like nothing would have happened because it's ~okay~ for girls to dress like guys. way to go, transmisogynists \o/
ginger_maya 28th-Feb-2013 12:26 pm (UTC)
Those ignorant little shits should get punished even harder now for their blatant bigotry.
silver_apples 28th-Feb-2013 12:50 pm (UTC)
If they wanted to protest a vague and restrictive dress code, I would support them. But that isn't what this is about. This is just hateful. I hope there are other students supporting Leah through all of this.
sunhawk 28th-Feb-2013 01:02 pm (UTC)
discriminated against because the transgender student is breaking the school's dress code and they are being punished for doing the same thing

Discriminated against... those words don't mean what you think they mean.

Also, boo hoo about "distracting" - get over it and stop fixating on what you think each gender should wear, it's stupid enforcing of gender norms.
anjak_j 28th-Feb-2013 01:19 pm (UTC)
Talk about a whole lot of people missing the point. And seriously, someone needs to teach these little assholes that biological sex and gender are not the same thing - and that 'Leah' has not broken any rules, making their protests moot and therefore void.

As to the dress code, such rules can be instituted without including references to sex or gender.
dienaid 28th-Feb-2013 02:34 pm (UTC)
This whole thing is even sillier than they seem to realize. I think the rules dictating dressing for your gender are bad, but NOBODY is allowed to wear athletic gear, so their protest in doing so is a bit misguided.

I am glad Leah seems to be getting so much support from school officials, her parents, and others.
bnmc2005 28th-Feb-2013 02:50 pm (UTC)
About 30 to 40 students at the school...

"30 to 40" hu? Could the reporter not get a head count? Is that too much to ask for? This is an awfully vaque range and there are only about 15 in that photo.

Not that it matters. The protest is gross and ignorant but I wonder if the article isn't exaggerating the number much like the other article about a "community" that protested the gay prom when really it was just a handful of parents.



Edited at 2013-02-28 02:53 pm (UTC)
redstar826 28th-Feb-2013 02:59 pm (UTC)
teenagers can be distracted by just about anything. Trying to base dress codes on what is or isn't 'distracting' is nonsense.
ahzuri 28th-Feb-2013 03:31 pm (UTC)
Fuck you people you wearing clothes breaking the dresscode is completely different from a transgender wearing clothes to fit the gender they identify. You wouldn't have a damn problem if it were FTM but because she is now wearing dresses (which are probably totally within the dress code) You've got issues causes its distracting to see them wearing these dresses due to knowing her as a he previously? Fuck off.

Edited at 2013-02-28 03:36 pm (UTC)
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