Kami Pham, a transgender student at a Louisiana high school, was told that she violated the school dress code by wearing ‘feminine attire’
Words by Victoria Fell
In yet another attack on the rights of transgender people in the USA, a principal in Louisiana has cut photos of a transgender student from appearing in her senior yearbook according to ThinkProgress.org.
Kami Pham was told that her ‘feminine attire’ and the fact that she was wearing a wig meant that she was violating the school’s dress code, as the way she was dressing was inconsistent with her birth certificate. And despite the fact that the high school’s dress code is entirely gender neutral, the school principal Jeff Roberts also threatened that Pham would not be permitted to walk at her graduation if she wore similar attire.
One of Kami’s friends, Tatjana Cotton, told local TV station KTBS, ‘If I wore that same outfit, there would be no problem; no one would say anything. So why treat Kami any different just because of what her birth certificate says?’
Along with other students, the same friend went on to start a Change.org petition on Kami’s behalf, where she added, ‘We aren’t doing this just for Kami, but for any student who comes after her. What we want is an apology and a rule change for all students so they can express themselves regardless of the gender on their birth certificate.’
Cotton has now updated the petition to inform supporters that the school board decided to support Pham’s gender identity. Their statement read, ‘Caddo Parish stands by the First Amendment right of students to express themselves and that belief is supported within the Caddo Parish School Board’s approved dress code policy. This expression is without regard to race, color, religion, age, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability.’
Cotton went on to thank the school board and the school’s principal for ‘listening’ and confirmed that the new decision will ‘allow Kami to dress her way at graduation, as well as allowing her yearbook and wall picture to be approved.’