Around 100 students and adults staged a rally Friday in support of a transgender student at the center of controversy at Hillsboro High School.
The rally was held in support of Lila Perry, a transgender student who wants to use the girls’ lockeroom and bathroom. Perry was born a male but has identified as a female since age 13. Some supporters came from as far away as Kansas City.
“We want to tell people what transsexuality is, create positivity and bring down the hostility,” said Gianna Warfel, a friend of Perry.
On Monday, students on both sides of the debate staged a walkout over the controversy. Thursday, parents stood outside a Hillsboro School Board meeting to make their feelings known. Some parents are opposed to Lila using the girls’ restroom and want a policy that accommodates the concerns of all.
The district offered Perry a private restroom, but she turned down the idea. The US Justice Department says any policy perceived to discriminate against a student based on gender identity is a violation.
“The district cannot require the student to use the private or gender neutral bathroom, which would result in discrimination based on sex,” said Kelly Hopkins with the Missouri School Board Association.
The district is still trying to work on a solution.