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Trans girl sues for dressing as a boy at graduation

Trans girl sues for dressing as a boy at graduation


The family of a 17-year-old transgender high school student, Harrison Central High School, is suing in federal court after school district officials told her she will have to wear male attire for her graduation on Saturday or she won’t. will not be permitted to participate on occasion.

On May 9, 2023, less than two weeks before graduation day, defendants informed plaintiff LB that she could not attend or participate in her high school’s graduation ceremony wearing a gown and heeled shoes, according to a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Mississippi in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi on Thursday.

Defendants based this instruction on the HCHS gender-based dress code policy for graduation, which states that girls must wear a white dress and dress shoes and boys must wear a white button-up shirt, black dress pants, black dress shoes and a tie or bow tie, the complaint continues.

Defendants ordered LB to dress in accordance with her sex assigned at birth, in other words, LB must dress in accordance with stereotypical male standards, even though she entered high school as a girl and lived through every aspect of her high school career as a girl.

Read the complaint.

The complaint lists Harrison County School District, Harrison County School Board, Harrison County School District Superintendent Mitchell King and Harrison Central Middle School Principal Kelly Fuller as defendants. Plaintiffs accuse them of violating LB’s rights to equal protection under the 14th Amendment, his rights under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and his right to free speech under the 1st Amendment.

In the complaint, the ACLU says LB wore dresses, skirts, and other traditionally feminine attire without issue or repercussion, including during in-person classes, school-sponsored events and programs, and extracurricular activities. during the last four years of high school. .

Defendants’ sudden decision to ban LB from wearing dresses and heels now, in the final and perhaps most important event of her high school career, serves no legitimate interest or justification, says the document.

The complaint says LB purchased a white dress and shoes online for the graduation ceremony in March, in accordance with school customs. But on May 4, an assistant director told her that there was a matter that she would soon have to discuss with the administration.

A few days later, last week, on May 9, 2023, defendant Fuller called LB at the principal’s office to ask what she planned to wear for graduation, the document says. LB replied that she was planning to wear a dress. Defendant Fuller said LB couldn’t wear a dress and LB should wear what the boys wear. Defendant Fuller also told LB that the request to meet LB was prompted by Defendant King, who had recently called and asked what transgender students would wear until they graduated.

During this meeting, LB felt extremely upset, embarrassed and distressed that she was singled out and told that she would not be allowed to wear a dress when she graduated from high school. Following the meeting, LB started to cry and contacted her mother, the complaint continues.

On May 10, 2023, LB’s mother, Samantha Brown, called Defendant King to seek clarification on the school districts’ graduation dress code policy. During this call, the defendant King testified that LB was still a boy and that he had to wear pants, socks and shoes, like a boy. Ms Brown asked what would happen if LB wore a dress to the ceremony, and the defendant King said she would not be allowed to attend.

The Mississippi Free Press called Harrison County Central High School and asked to speak to Fuller this morning, but a bureau representative said there was no comment. Calls to the school district office went unanswered.

The ACLU is asking the court to issue a temporary restraining order or permanent injunction preventing the school from punishing LB for wearing a dress and heels until graduation. Judge Sul Ozerden, a conservative appointed by George W. Bush, is hearing the case today; The LB graduation is scheduled for tomorrow at 6:30 p.m.

In a statement to the ACLU, LB defended her right to dress in women’s clothing at graduation.

My graduation is meant to be a time of pride and celebration and school officials want to make it a time of humiliation and shame, she said. The clothes I have chosen are completely appropriate for the ceremony and the superintendents’ objections are totally unfair to me, my family and all transgender students like me. I have the right to celebrate my graduation as I am, not as someone else wants me to be.




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