Transgender student says she's banned from school until she follows male dress code

Erica Simon Image
Friday, October 2, 2020
Transgender student at Louise HS says she is being forced to follow the dress code for a boy
Transgender student at Louise HS says she is being forced to follow the dress code for a boy.

LOUISE, Texas (KTRK) -- Sanay Martinez, 18, has grown up in Louise all her life and is your typical high schooler. She's been on the cheer squad, color guard and enjoys learning and hanging out with friends. When in-person learning started this fall semester, she wanted to be identified as Sanay instead of Shawn, and officially came out as a transgender woman.

"They don't have to accept it, but they should respect it," she explained.

It wasn't that simple. Martinez was told by her principal that she must adhere to the dress code, which goes by biological gender.

"They told me I can't come back until I cut my hair and take out my piercings. And I do not like that because as a female, I should follow the female handbook and not the male handbook. It's my senior year and I would love to go back to Louise ISD, but I don't feel welcome at all," she continued.

Martinez and her best friend, Alexis Mendoza, will most likely transfer to nearby El Campo High School, due to how they feel Louise administrators have handled things.

"They're being really disrespectful. They know Shawn since he was in Pre-K. They knew he wanted to be gay at first, and they were OK with that, but when he came out as trans, that's when everything changed," Mendoza said.

The superintendent for Louise ISD says they love and accept Sanay. They've known her her whole life, but must follow the rules. When asked how this will be resolved, we were told school officials don't have an answer for that yet.

SEE ALSO: ACLU of Texas urges school districts to reexamine 'discriminatory' dress code policies

If you recall, a teen was entangled with his high school over his dreadlocks. The back-and-forth has since inspired legislation.

Whatever happens, Martinez has a message for those like her.

"I'm here to tell everyone, that transgender students should be allowed for their education. It is their rightful purpose for them to go into the school and get their education. It doesn't matter what race, gender, sexuality," she said.

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