The students at Bishop Amat Memorial High School in California took a stand against homophobia and staged a walkout in support of their former classmate who was subjected to unfair treatment by the school’s staff because of her sexuality, according to Out.
Magali Rodriguez was a student at Bishop Amat Memorial High School until she transferred schools after being harassed by the school’s staff for having a girlfriend, despite never sharing any public displays of affection with her. Rodriguez attended the school for three years and during that time she was subject to disciplinary meetings, separated from her girlfriend, and even had to meet with the school’s counselor to discuss her homosexuality. Additionally, the school’s staff threatened to out her to her parents if she didn’t do what they said. Rodriguez did come out to her parents in her own terms and was then transferred to another school.
One student read about how the school treated Rodriguez and decided to walk out in support of her during seventh period until the end of the day. Approximately 200 students walked out with the student who didn’t wish to be named. The student said “I decided to walk out because I wanted to take a stand… I didn’t agree with what the administration did with the situation and I feel like it was a good idea for the student body to stand as one to show our support for Magali.” Other students said that Magali was a “kind person.” This is how it’s done: these students recognized an injustice and instead of accepting it, they exercised their first amendment right to protest and did so peacefully and effectively (this made it to the news after all).
The school saw that it was in trouble and issued a statement about their treatment of Magali to ease the tension between the media and Bishop Amat Memorial High School.
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
As you can see, the letter says “Students who are involved in a relationship may socialize appropriately on campus; however, engaging in excessive displays of affection is not permitted by any student.” As a person who graduated from high school only about seven years ago, I can say with great confidence that other students were also engaged in displays of affection because such behavior is ubiquitous and expected when you fill a building with teenagers, and while I don’t know the specifics of what happens at the school, I’m fairly certain that no other students were sent to counseling for being in a relationship.
This school sure has to do a lot of damage control to try to undo the damage they’ve done, but one student already left because of the way she was treated, so I doubt that people forget about this. At least the other students saw the administration’s mistake and decided to take a stand because these types of things need to be brought to attention.