Two hundred students at a California Catholic school staged a walkout to support a lesbian classmate after staff allegedly threatened to out her to parents.
Senior student Magali Rodriguez said she’s one of two openly LGBTIQ students at Bishop Amat Memorial High School. The other student is her girlfriend.
The pair started dating and they attempted to avoid public displays of affection, Rodriguez explained.
However, school staff still singled her out and banned her from sitting next to her girlfriend at lunch. The staff also allegedly forced her into disciplinary meetings and counselling with the school psychologist, Buzzfeed reported.
Rodriguez said school staff told her if she refused the sessions, they would out her to her parents. After three years, she said, she experienced “intense anxiety.”
She later decided to come out to her parents anyway. They were so appalled to hear of the school’s alleged treatment of their daughter they transferred her.
Outraged Catholic high school students stage mass walkout
When students at the California school found out about the school’s treament of Rodriguez, they showed their support with a mass walkout.
“I never would’ve imagined Amat to be an environment like this,” one student told Buzzfeed.
“Once I started to read the article I was in full shock. I decided to walk out to stand up for her.”
Another agreed, “I decided to walk out because I wanted to take a stand.
“I didn’t agree with what the administration did with the situation.
“I feel like it was a good idea for the student body to stand as one to show our support for Magali.
In response, the school’s president and principal released a statement declining to address “specific details” of the story.
However the statement claimed that the school “is committed to providing a supportive and inclusive learning environment for all students, irrespective of their sexual orientation.”
“Students who are involved in a relationship may socialize appropriately on campus,” it reads.
“However, engaging in excessive displays of affection is not permitted by any student.”
Please read this official statement from President Monsignor Carroll and Principal Richard Beck concerning the recent media reports involving our school. pic.twitter.com/F0J5Hdysuo
— Bishop Amat (@AmatLancer) November 9, 2019
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