An openly gay senior at Clyde High School is speaking out after he was punished with an in-school suspension for wearing nail polish to school.
Trevor Wilkinson, 17, said he originally received the suspension on Monday after he returned from Thanksgiving break with his nails painted, which violates his school’s dress code.
“Imagine your school not allowing boys to paint their nails and giving boys iss [in-school suspension] for it,” tweeted 17-year-old Trevor Wilkinson. “And the whole administration being okay with it, homophobic and sexist? Welcome to west Texas.”
imagine your school not allowing boys to paint their nails and giving boys iss for it. and the whole administration being okay with it, homophobic and sexist? welcome to west texas🤠
— trevvvv;) (@trevvowilkinson) November 30, 2020
That same day, Wilkinson created a Change.org petition demanding that boys be allowed to wear nail polish. The petition has received over 91,000 signatures so far.
His petition reads: “Hello, my name is Trevor Wilkinson and I am a senior at Clyde High School. Today, I got ISS (in school suspension) for having my nails painted. I was told that I will continue to get ISS until I take them off. It’s a complete double standard because girls are allowed to paint and get their nails done. Not only that, but freedom of expression is validation enough that the dress code and policy is not okay. I am a gay male and I’m beyond proud. 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. I am a human. I am valid. I should not get in trouble for having my nails done. Sign and share this so people like me don’t have to ever deal with this again. It’s time for a change and that time is now. Thank you;)”
Clyde, a town of just under 4,000, is about 135 miles west of Fort Worth.
The Clyde Consolidated Independent School District said that it does not discuss individual student’s cases, but that parents and students are provided with a copy of the dress code before the school year starts and that it “is consistently implemented and enforced.”
The student handbook says that men are prohibited from wearing makeup and nail polish. If a campus administrator determines that a student is in violation of the dress code the “student will be given an opportunity to correct the problem at school,” it says.
Wilkinson said that he believes the dress code is discriminatory.
“It’s really sad to me because I feel like it’s 2020 and we should be progressing and not taking steps back,” he said in a phone interview with NBC News on Saturday. “And it makes me really sad because I know that there are other people who feel like this and feel like they can’t express themselves and that they never will be able to because of people like this, who are not open-minded enough to see another perspective.”
The teen said he met with the school’s principal and vice principal and he was told that if he did not remove his nail polish, he would remain in suspension.
“I’m not taking off my nails and I’m staying in ISS because it’s completely wrong,” he said.
FIERCELY FIGHTING BACK: High school senior Trevor Wilkinson was suspended for wearing nail polish to school — now he is speaking a call for change.@ErielleReshef reports. https://t.co/j7P84hQ1eH pic.twitter.com/IfxUSLe7Mi
— Good Morning America (@GMA) December 7, 2020