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A Texas high school senior said he was given an in-school suspension for showing up with painted fingernails in violation of a district dress code that only lets girls wear makeup and nail polish.
Trevor Wilkinson, 17, who is openly gay, revealed the discriminatory policy last Monday, in a tweet that railed against the Clyde Consolidated Independent School District.
“Imagine your school not allowing boys to paint their nails and giving boys iss for it,” wrote Wilkinson, who attends Clyde High School. “And the whole administration being okay with it, homophobic and sexist? Welcome to west [T]exas.”
The district’s current student handbook states men cannot wear nail polish or facial makeup to school.
Wilkinson told the Abilene Reporter-News that he received three days of in-school suspension last week for refusing to remove his nail polish.
“I have been doing this to express who I am,” he told the newspaper.
“I’ve been trapped in closed minded people’s minds. So, I did it and I love my nails. I think they’re so cool. I’m definitely using it to express myself and feel everyone should have that freedom of expression,” he said.
Clyde Consolidated Independent School District Superintendent Kenny Berry did not comment to the newspaper, but said the district’s dress code is reviewed annually.
“That review process results in the development of a final dress code that is consistently implemented and enforced during the next school year. Parents and students are provided a copy of the dress code prior to the start of each new school year,” Berry said in his statement.
Wilkinson started a Change.org petition to shed a light on his experience.
“This is unjust and not okay. Help me show that it is okay to express yourself and that the identity that society wants to normalize is not okay,” he wrote.
The student added: “I am a human. I am valid. I should not get in trouble for having my nails done.”