SALT LAKE CITY — The rain didn’t stop a large crowd of Utah high school students from walking out to support transgender youth and reject a new law that prevents transgender students from playing school sports.
“A lot of energy, a lot of flags, a lot of signs expressing how they’re feeling, about this particular bill, and the chants, if you caught nothing but the chance you’d know students are in support of letting all students play regardless of how they identify,” said Salt Lake City School District spokeswoman Yándary Chatwin.
East High School students walked out of school Friday around 11:45 a.m., waving bright flags and chanting, “Let them play.”
The state legislature recently passed HB 11, which bans transgender girls from competing on female sports teams.
“They really want to make sure legislators understand the impact this is having,” said Chatwin.
The movement was led by students, and the school administration knew about their plans ahead of time. District leaders believe this is an important way students can get involved.
“It’s actually not unusual for students to walk out or demonstrate," Chatwin said. "Our students tend to be pretty involved civically, and we view this as a really important part of their educational experience, to exercise their first amendment rights and speak out for what they believe in."
A few weeks ago, West High School students had a walkout for a similar cause.