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Students walk out in dispute over locker rooms and transgender student

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Posted at 9:53 AM, Sep 01, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-01 14:05:32-04

Hillsboro, Mo. – More than 150 students walked out of Hillsboro High School over a dispute about the use of the girl’s locker room by a transgender student.

The walkout lasted for about two hours.

Roughly 30-40 people showed support for senior Lila Perry, who wants to use the girls’ locker room during gym class.

Perry was born a male but said she has identified as a female since 13. Transgender student

“There’s a lot of ignorance, they are claiming that they’re uncomfortable. I don’t believe for a second that they are. I think this is pure and simple bigotry,” Perry said.

A short distance away, a counter protest was being held by people claiming they have relatives at the high school.

“Boys needs to have their own locker room. Girls need to have their own locker room and if somebody has mixed feelings where they are, they need to have their own also,” protester Jeff Childs said.

Perry said school officials have been accommodating, understanding, and compliant with Title IX.

The school offered her a private gender-neutral restroom, which she turned down.

“I wasn’t hurting anyone and I didn’t want to feel segregated out. I didn’t want to be in the gender neutral bathroom. I am girl, I shouldn’t be pushed off to another bathroom,” Perry said.

Some parents have asked if it is an act by Perry to get into the girls’ bathroom.

A veteran gender therapist says it is not a ruse.

“That’s really important for many people to know and parents to know, that a person does not choose this, they really don’t. They know it very early on and are in a great deal of pain,” Patricia Berne said.

Out of concern for her safety, Perry dropped out of gym class.

She said she plans to continue to use the girl’s restroom.