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Tipsheet

Texas High School Students Stage Walkout Over School District’s Transgender Policies

AP Photo/Armando Franca

High school students in Texas staged a walkout in protest of new policies that target students who identify as “transgender.”

The students at Grapevine High School walked out on Friday afternoon, days after the school district approved policies over preferred pronouns, transgender athlete participation, among other things, as Townhall covered.

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Going forward, Grapevine-Colleyville Independent School District teachers will only refer to students using pronouns that align with their biological sex rather than “gender identity,” even if the student’s parents approve of the child using pronouns that align with their gender identity.

In addition, students younger than sixth grade will not be allowed to discuss sexual orientation, gender identity and “gender fluidity.” Trans students will be required to play on sports teams and using restrooms and locker rooms that align with their biological sex. 

The Dallas Morning News noted that police did not allow visitors or media on the high school campus during the protest, but “a small crowd of parents and supporters gathered on the sidewalk outside to support the teenagers.”

The Dallas Morning News added that the school principal wrote in an email to parents that the students who participated in the walkout would receive an unexcused absence. 

Last week, a grandmother of two students in the district told The Texas Tribune that the transgender sports policy was “very important” to her.

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“The policy on the agenda tonight that keeps girls competing against biological girls is very important to me,” the grandmother, whose name was not revealed, said. “I want to make sure that my granddaughters can enjoy the fruits and labor of my generation by participating in fair competitive sports.”

The issue of biological male transgender athletes participating in women’s sports was pushed to the forefront after Will “Lia” Thomas competed on the women’s swim team at University of Pennsylvania this past season. Thomas previously competed on the men’s team for three seasons. Thomas made headlines for breaking records competing against women and taking home an NCAA Division I title at the NCAA championships in March. 

During the swim season, several of Thomas’ teammates spoke out about the situation on the condition of anonymity. One swimmer told The Washington Examiner that Thomas “compares herself to Jackie Robinson” and “mocks” competing on the women’s team, as Townhall covered. In addition, a female swimmer told Daily Mail that Thomas makes the women’s locker room uncomfortable, which Matt covered.

“It’s [the locker room] definitely awkward because Lia still has male body parts and is still attracted to women,” the swimmer told Daily Mail. “But we were basically told that we could not ostracize Lia by not having her in the locker room and that there’s nothing we can do about it, that we basically have to roll over and accept it, or we cannot use our own locker room.”

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Kim Jones, a former all-American tennis player, told me in an interviewed at a rally in Washington, D.C. commemorating the 50th anniversary of Title IX that she is “passionate” about protecting women’s sports because her daughter competed against Thomas this past season.

"Last year, my daughter had to race Lia Thomas in the Ivy League throughout the year. And what I learned is that women are easily cast aside and told to be quiet when they face an injustice. It's just not the world I'm willing to leave for my granddaughters," Jones said. "Women deserve respect, they deserve fair competition, they deserve equal access to opportunities relative to their male counterparts. I'm passionate about preserving that for the next group of women."

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