My Students Hosted a Walkout to Protest Transphobic Legislation; I Proudly Joined Them

Last Friday, I highlighted the activism of high school students in a lesson on the early civil rights movement. In 1951, 450 Black students at Moton High School in Virginia hosted walkouts to protest inequitable conditions stemming from school segregation.

The NAACP attached their cause with existing cases to challenge school segregation, resulting in the landmark Brown v. Board of Education case. After that lesson, a transgender student notified me that students were planning a walkout to oppose Louisiana House Bill 570, one of many anti-transgender bills circulating nationwide.

According to this bill:

No nurse, counselor, teacher, principal, or other official or staff at a public or private school shall… withhold from a minor’s parent or legal guardian information related to the minor’s perception that his gender is inconsistent with his sex…”

HB 570 and similar legislation are part of a recent wave of both anti-teacher and transphobic legislation. While these bills reflect a broader culture war, they have a real, material impact on our youth. These bills seek to make a teacher’s job more challenging in an already overburdened profession while putting the lives of transgender students in peril.

High school students from New Orleans take part in a rally March 25, 2022, against anti-transgender legislation the Louisiana Legislature has proposed. (Photo by Chris Dier)

Click here to continue reading at the Louisiana Illuminator.

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