News for North Texas
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Grapevine High School students walked out in protest over policies they call anti-LGBTQ

IMG_0200.JPG group of students holding signs, a rainbow flag under the shade of trees
Bill Zeeble
/
KERA News
Grapevine High School students walked out of school Friday holding handmade signs and a Pride flag to protest recent school board policies kids say are anti-LGBTQ. "Protect Trans Kids," they chanted. Several dozen supportive parents watched from the public sidewalk, not legally allowed on school property.

Grapevine-Colleyville Independent School District trustees recently approved controversial new policies on bathrooms, pronouns, sports, library books and more. Most touched on people who identify as LGBTQ. On Friday, students protested those policies they say target and attack the LGBTQ community.

About 100 students walked out of Grapevine High School on Friday to protest new district policies they say target gay and trans kids.

Some who walked out identify as gay or trans, other straight and cisgender students walked out too. But everyone who spoke at the protest felt they were targeted by policies deemed intolerant of those who are LGBTQ

Artem, who gave no last name, was one of the students who spoke out.

“Trans and LGBTQ youth and students do not feel safe in their classrooms. These rules are taking away our rights to feel safe and to express ourselves and to be honest about who we are,” Artem said.

Some new rules, for example, designate multi-stall bathrooms must be used based on a person’s biological sex. The district could provide accommodations on request

Marceline Temple, out sick the day of the protest, prepared a statement that was read by a friend, Teddy, who didn’t give a last name.

I’m embarrassed to be a part of this transphobic and racist school district," read Temple. “As a transgender, bisexual person of color,  I’m deeply ashamed of our school board and the actions they decided to take. How on earth are adults acting more childish than children? It’s astonishing.”

Occasionally, the group of protesting students broke out in chants.

“Protect out rights,” they repeated. At other times, “protect trans kids.” 

Earlier this week, the GCISD school board also approved sports policies saying students could only participate on teams in keeping with their biological sex. Other policies touch on what books will be allowed or not. Many titles in question feature characters who identify as LGBTQ.

Grapevine High School's principal said students who walked out will be marked absent for the classes they missed.

Got a tip? Email Reporter Bill Zeeble at bzeeble@kera.org. You can follow him on Twitter @bzeeble.

Bill Zeeble has been a full-time reporter at KERA since 1992, covering everything from medicine to the Mavericks and education to environmental issues.