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School demands a trans student cut her hair or they’ll kick her out

Sanay Martinez, 17 of Louise, Texas
Sanay Martinez, 17 of Louise, TexasPhoto: Screenshot / ABC13

In an announcement made last week, the Louise Independent School District in Texas stopped offering remote learning. They informed families in the over 400-student district that in-person learning was to begin this Tuesday.

And that’s when a transgender high school senior was thrown into a standoff with her school.

Related: High school bullies sing “For he’s a jolly good fa***t” after student comes out as bisexual

Sanay Martinez, a student at Louise High School, had just come out as trans. Now she believes that she won’t be able to return to complete her final school year, as the school told her that she must “adhere to the dress code” of her “biological gender” if she wants to attend classes.

“They told me I can’t come back until I cut my hair and take out my piercings,” Martinez told ABC13.

“As a female, I should follow the female handbook and not the male handbook,” Martinez said. “It’s my senior year and I would love to go back to Louise ISD, but I don’t feel welcome at all.”

Louise ISD superintendent Dr. Garth Oliver claims people in the district “love and accept” Martinez but that she “must follow the rules.”

It’s not clear what will come of the situation, but the Texas Association of School Board’s (TASB) legal guidance on transgender students’ rights in the state says that transgender students should be accepted as their gender.

“Transgender students are entitled to be free from discrimination based on their gender identity. As such, transgender students should be permitted to wear clothing that aligns with their gender identity,” the TASB website reads.

Martinez’s best friend Alexis Mendoza said the teen may try to transfer to a different school in a nearby district that has a more welcoming environment.

“They’re being really disrespectful,” Mendoza said. “They know [Sanay] since [she] was in Pre-K. They knew [she] wanted to be gay at first, and they were OK with that, but when [she] came out as trans, that’s when everything changed.”

While Martinez isn’t sure what will happen, she said that identity shouldn’t matter when it comes to education.

“I’m here to tell everyone, that transgender students should be allowed for their education,” she said. “It is their rightful purpose for them to go into the school and get their education. It doesn’t matter what race, gender, sexuality.”

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