Fearless gay student suspended for wearing nail polish educates school board in moving speech on ‘double standards’
A gay high school student slapped with an indefinite suspension for wearing nail polish delivered an important lesson of his own at his local school board meeting.
Clyde High School senior Trevor Wilkinson, 17, received an in-school suspension for breaking the dress code which prohibits fingernail colours for male students – and male students only.
With his petition against the “homophobic and sexist” school rules backed by nearly 350,000 people, Wilkinson stood strong and took his protest directly to the school board.
“This isn’t about me anymore,” he told the board members. “It’s about a discriminatory, sexist policy that needs to be changed.”
He accused Clyde High School of taking his education away from him for something as minor as painting his nails, simply because it was against the dress code.
“Why is it against dress code for a man to be comfortable with his masculinity and defy the gender norms society has imposed on us?” Wilkinson asked.
“Why is it harmful for me to wear nail polish? If it’s not harmful for girls to wear it, why is it harmful for males?”
He exposed the school’s “double standard”, saying it proves that “Clyde doesn’t accept kids for who they are, and they shouldn’t be themselves because the very people that are supposed to create a safe environment can’t accept them”.
Gay high schooler tells school board to move forward, not backward.
Trevor Wilkinson ended his brave and impassioned speech by urging the board to get with the times and accept that diversity is what makes our world great.
“We’re all supposed to be equal,” he said, “not having our freedom of expression suppressed, not having our voices not heard because grown-ups are taking three steps back instead of forward.”
The school board could’ve taken this moment to learn something from the teen, but instead they refused to budge from their position.
Superintendent Kenny Berry said in a statement that the dress code won’t be changed until the annual review of the student handbook. “The district expects students to abide by established rules of conduct,” he said.