High School Kids Walk Out To Protest Transgender Classmate

Photo: Robert Cohen/AP Photo.
Lila Perry, a transgender teen from Missouri, has been given permission to start her senior year at Hillsboro High School using the girls' bathroom and locker rooms. But what should have been a relief for Perry, who came out as transgender earlier this year, turned ugly when over 100 of her peers walked out of class in protest.

Lila, who's been using the bathrooms that match her gender for a year, defended herself. “I wasn’t hurting anyone. I didn’t want to be in something gender-neutral,” Lila said, in reference to a gender-neutral bathroom she'd been asked to use. “I am a girl. I am not going to be pushed away to another bathroom," she told a local paper.

The students are largely back in class on Tuesday. The school superinendent, Dr. Aaron Cornman, emphasized that the school's policy is tolerance, saying it "accepts all students no matter race, nationality/ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation," in a statement sent to R29.

But, Dr. Cornman also defended other student's rights to object. "We afforded students the right to reasonably protest," he said.

Parents have not always been so civil. Leading the battle to get Perry out of the girls' bathroom, The New York Times reports, is lawyer Derrick Good, who has two children in the Hillsboro school system. “It’s a violation of my daughters’ rights to privacy," Good said. He collaborated with Alliance Defending Freedom, a Christian group which, according to its website is, "funding cases, training attorneys, and successfully advocating for freedom in court," to create a "student physical privacy policy."

The student, Lila Perry, spent the protest in the guidance counselor's office, worried for her safety (as you can imagine!), but she's not without her supporters. The Missouri Gay-Straight Alliance is holding a rally on Friday in Hillsboro on her behalf and has launched the hashtag campaign #liftinguplila.

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