Trans girl misses graduation 'after being told to dress like a boy'
A transgender girl in the US is missing her graduation after being made to feel ‘shamed and humiliated’ by the school’s insistence she dress as a boy, her lawyer claims.
Harrison Central High School in Gulfport, Mississippi, said the 17-year-old student ‘has met the qualifications to receive a diploma’ but reportedly rejected her request to wear ‘socks and shoes, like a boy’.
The girl, named only by her initials LB, and her family took the school to court but a federal judge did not block the school officials’ decision.
The family’s lawyer, Linda Morris from the American Civil Liberties Union’s (ACLU) Women’s Rights Project, called the ruling ‘as disappointing as it is absurd’.
She said: ‘Our client is being shamed and humiliated for explicitly discriminatory reasons, and her family is being denied a once-in-a-lifetime milestone in their daughter’s life.
‘No-one should be forced to miss their graduation because of their gender.’
The ACLU sued the district on Thursday on behalf of the student and her parents after Harrison Central principal Kelly Fuller and school district superintendent Mitchell King told LB that she must follow the boys’ clothing rules.
Graduating boys are expected to wear white shirts and black trousers, while girls are expected to wear white dresses but LB had selected a dress to wear with her cap and gown.
The lawsuit said LB had worn dresses to classes and extracurricular events throughout high school, including to a prom last year, and she should not face discriminatory treatment during graduation.
Mr King told LB’s mother that the teenager could not participate in the graduation ceremony unless LB wears trousers, “socks, and shoes, like a boy”, according to the lawsuit.
The school district’s lawyer wrote in court papers on Friday that taking part in a graduation ceremony is voluntary and not a constitutionally protected right for any student.
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