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HomeGeneralMass Walkout: Students Boycott School Over Transgender Matter

Mass Walkout: Students Boycott School Over Transgender Matter

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Students walk out in mass
Source: Twitter

Hundreds of students at Monarch High School in Coconut Creek, Fort Lauderdale, chose to boycott classrooms in December 2023. Rather than let normal class activities commence, the kids trooped out in a file onto the school’s football field.

Pictures taken from the scene show students holding signs in favor of trans rights while others chanted, “Trans lives matter.” The protest started a day after the high school’s principal, James Cecil, and four others were reassigned to non-school sites. The reassignment occurred amid an ongoing investigation by Broward County officials. 

According to reports, the investigation was to ascertain whether the school should let a transgender student compete on its girls’ volleyball team. However, if that happens, the school will be violating state law. 

Following the investigation, a Broward County Public Schools spokesperson confirmed the status of Cecil and the other staffers. The school allegedly reassigned them “pending the outcome of an investigation into allegations of improper student participation in sports.” However, there was no specification that it was because the student was transgender.

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ALSO READ: A “Title” Genocide: Should Gender Identity Discussion and LGBTQ+ Literature Be Allowed in Schools?

Afterward, the district’s superintendent, Peter Licata, fielded a flurry of reporters’ questions at a news conference. The questions concerned the transgender student’s participation in the high school’s girls’ volleyball team. 

According to Licata, “new processes” will now exist for athlete eligibility. He said, “We’ll have an extra level of investigation on ensuring everyone is eligible for the sport they’re playing, in all aspects, grade level, grades, and so forth.”

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed the state law that bars transgenders from competing on women’s sports teams in public schools. He is currently campaigning to be the 2024 Republican nominee for president. And will probably prefer that there be no exceptions to the law. 

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Over 20 other states in the USA have similar laws restricting trans athletes’ participation in school sports. A lawsuit was filed in June 2021 against the governor, the School Board of Broward County, and several other Florida officials.

The court documents argued that the measure violated Title IX. This landmark civil rights law bans sex-based discrimination at any school that receives funding from the federal government. 

A plaintiff in the lawsuit, which a federal judge rejected in December 2023, is a teenage girl who wants to try out for her public school’s volleyball team in Broward County. Her true identity is unknown as only her initials, D.N., represent her. 

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Anna Fusco, president of the Broward Teachers Union, suggests that the staffers reassigned might not have known they were breaking the law by allowing the trans girl to join the team.

ALSO READ: Trans Athlete Controversy Leads to Lawsuit Against Vermont State

“It’s getting harder and harder for our educators to really understand everything that’s happening,” she said. Furthermore, Fusco stated, “Our teachers don’t always understand new laws that come out, old laws that have been out.”

She added, “They just want to show up and be the teacher, the coach, the counselor to help a student thrive.”

The investigation will examine the possibility that the principal or staffers were aware they were breaking the law, but that detail remains unverified as of now. 

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