Home Florida students stage walk out after staff reassigned over trans volleyball player

Florida students stage walk out after staff reassigned over trans volleyball player

Rebecca Barnabi
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After their principal and other school officials were reassigned, hundreds of students at Monarch High School in Florida walked out at noon on Tuesday.

The reassignment of Principal James Cecil and other staff reportedly was over a transgender student participating on the girls volleyball team, as reported by NBC News.

“Our first priority are students,” District Superintendent Peter Licata said. He added that the staff changes were not an indication of disciplinary action, but an indication of conducting a proper investigation.

Students emptied classrooms yesterday afternoon and met on the school’s football field approximately 15 miles north of Fort Lauderdale holding signs in support of trans rights. Some chanted “trans lives matter.”

Cecil and four other staff members were reassigned to non-school sites amid an investigation into a student who was born male and transitioned to female playing on the school’s girls volleyball team, which is a violation of Florida state law.

At a Tuesday news conference, Licata said “new processes” would be necessary for athlete eligibility.

“We’ll have an extra level of investigation on making sure everyone is eligible for the sport they’re playing, in all aspects, grade level, grades, so forth and so on,” Licata said.

In 2021, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is currently campaigning to be the 2024 Republican nominee for president, signed a law barring transgender girls and women from competing on girls and women’s sports teams in public schools.

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.