Student protest against their school board’s anti-LGBTQ+ policies goes global

Pride flag

Students at Great Oak High School in Temecula, California have gained international support in their fight against their school board’s anti-LGBTQ+ policies.

When the Temecula Valley Unified School Board voted to introduce a number of restrictive school policies – including banning Pride flags and forcibly outing transgender students to their parents if they make a change to their gender identity at school – student Moxxie Childs decided to take action.

The 16-year-old student orchestrated a genius protest, and it has really caught on among his classmates.

Childs, who is a junior at Great Oak, used his own money to buy 200 rainbow Pride flags and passed them out to other students to hold onto while on school grounds.

School-age children with Pride flag
The 16-year-old student orchestrated a genius protest. (Getty Images)

“Holding flags is different from displaying them because displaying implies they stay in one place and all the flags are being carried around by different people. So, they cannot hand out discipline for just carrying around these flags,” Childs told KPBS.

When a social media post about Childs’ protest went viral online, people around the world caught wind and wanted to help out.

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“At this point, I think someone from every continent except probably Antarctica has donated to this cause,” said Childs, who is transgender. 

“And I really appreciate that because we all band together to support each other and stand for each other.”

Thanks to the international support he has received, Childs now has over 3,000 donated Pride flags, which he hopes to share with students at other schools in Temecula Valley.

Childs has also launched a GoFundMe page for any other supporters from around the world who might like to contribute to the cause.

Two people facing backwards wrapped in a Pride flag
People around the world caught wind of Childs’ protest and wanted to help out. (Getty Images)

This is just the latest protest from Great Oak High School students against their school board’s new policies.

Last week, approximately 100 students staged a walk-out in protest of the school board’s new parental notification policy, which forces transgender students to be outed to their parents if they make at change to their gender identity on school grounds.

Speaking to KPBS at the time, 16-year-old Koda Dickinson said: “Our school board is very religious and allows their anti-LGBTQ religious views to cloud their judgment on what is best for the students of TVUSD. 

“They corrupt the vision of many conservative parents, convincing them that the LGBTQ community does not belong in schools.”

Temecula Valley Unified is the latest in a number of California school districts to introduce a forced outing policy – all of which have been condemned by the state’s attorney general, Rob Bonta.

Last month, Bonta filed a lawsuit against Chino Valley Unified School District to challenge its outing policy, claiming it “infringes on several state protections safeguarding students’ civil and constitutional rights.”

While the lawsuit is ongoing, a judge has issued a temporary restraining order on the school board’s policy.

The hearing on Bonta’s motion for a preliminary injunction is scheduled for 13 October.

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