LGBTQ students at Sultana High School in San Bernardino County, California, say they are feeling bullied by the school administration after they were ordered to wear gender appropriate clothing for yearbook photos and prom.
“There’s a lot of hate going on and what makes it scary is everybody thinks it’s ok. A lot of it is against the LGBTQ students. If I had my freedom, I’d probably go down there wearing a dress,” President of the Sultana Gay Straight Alliance, Kyle Bodda, 18, told NBC4 News.
“All students should feel safe and free to be themselves at school. I’m hopeful the administration does the right thing and creates a safe environment where we can be ourselves without fear of being harassed,” said Kyle.
But in case the students’ personal pleas aren’t enough, they’ve teamed up with lawyers and the ACLU, which has sent an 11-page letter to the school district, saying that the high school’s administrators are in violation of a number of state and federal laws.
“California law makes it crystal clear schools cannot discriminate against LGBTQ students based on sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression,” said Melissa Goodman, ACLU attorney.
If the clothing orders weren’t enough, students claim that some administrators are going as far as to make fun of the LGBTQ teens at school. According to students, a teacher told a teen who commented that he didn’t have a valentine on Valentine’s Day that it was “because you’re gay and nobody wants to be with you.” Another student claims an administrator called a gay student’s campaign for homecoming queen a “joke.”
‘These allegations are deeply concerning and they have my full and focused attention,” said Hesperia Unified School District School District Interim Superintendent David McLaughlin. “While the ACLU letter focuses specifically on the rights of gay and lesbian students, I see it as a moral imperative to reinforce the current efforts in place regarding anti-bullying and tolerance throughout the district.”
Awesome! So let’s get on that! Let’s start teaching our kids that they are worthy, important, smart, wonderful people who are full of potential — whether they show up to prom in a tuxedo and heels or wearing a rainbow clown wig.