Students at Broward school stage walkout after staff removals over transgender athlete
The peaceful protest at Monarch High School in Coconut Creek came after the school's principal and four staff members were removed over allegations that a transgender student was allowed to play in a girls' volleyball team.
Hundreds of students staged a walkout at a Broward school on Tuesday after their principal and four staff members were removed over allegations that a transgender student was allowed to play in a girls' volleyball team.
Currently, state law — called the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act — prohibits transgender students from playing on girls’ sports teams.
The demonstration at Monarch High School, in Coconut Creek, came hours after Broward County Public Schools Superintendent Peter Licata confirmed the five employees would be working elsewhere while an investigation took place.
“That’s not an indication of discipline," said Licata, at a press conference Tuesday morning. "It’s an indication that we want to make sure that when we investigate, it’s done properly and appropriately.
"Again, we want to make sure we do this right. Nobody is guilty of anything at this point, that’s what an investigation is for.”
Principal James Cecil along with the school's assistant principal, athletic director, temporary athletic director and information management technician will be working at different locations for the time being, Licata said.
In response, students at Monarch High School walked out of classes and poured onto the football field around noon, according to the Miami Herald.
During the peaceful 30-minute demonstration, students chanted things like “Let Her Play,” “Trans Rights are Human Rights” and “Free Cecil Now” in support of their classmate and principal, the newspaper reported.
Tallahassee officials notified
Licata said BCPS was alerted about the player in a call from a constituent last week. The removals were initially announced on Nov. 27, on the return from Thanksgiving break.
“Listen, our first priority are students. No matter what it’s students and making sure that they have the support, they’re also protected and that we are following the laws to do that," Licata added.
He confirmed that BCPS has also notified Tallahassee officials about the plans to investigate Monarch staff members.
According to the Miami Herald, Moira Sweeting-Miller, the school’s assistant principal, will serve as interim principal while the investigation takes place.
It’s currently unclear whether the staff members being investigated knew about the state law or whether the student will be allowed to play on the volleyball team next year.
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