Lesbian student Magali Rodriguez gets support of classmates
Magali Rodriguez had the support of about 200 students who walked out of class at a Los Angeles-area Catholic high school after BuzzFeed News revealed how the school had harassed her for years.
Magali, a lesbian student, had been targeted by the administration of Bishop Amat Memorial High School in Upland, California, for dating a sophomore girl.
She and the other girl were threatened to be out to their parents.
Classmates support Magali Rodriguez against school
The students rallied in the support of Magali– who does not attend the school anymore– with chants, prayers, and songs after walking out of their class.
The school had released a statement blaming Magali and her girlfriend for their public displays of affection.
The school’s statement read: “Bishop Amat High School is committed to providing a supportive and inclusive learning environment for all students, irrespective of their sexual orientation.”
One of the students that joined the protest said: “I never would’ve imagined Amat to be an environment like this. Once I started to read about the article I was in full shock. I decided to walk out to stand up for her.”
The other students also said that straight students had public displays of affection but were not targeted by the school like Rodriguez was.
Magali Rodriguez: Facing discrimination alone
BuzzFeed News had earlier reported Magali’s story, who was forced to attend disciplinary meetings and counseling with a school psychologist after she was found to have a girlfriend.
Their experience began three years ago when someone complained about their relationship and their alleged public displays of affection.
Through arbitrary rules, she was not allowed to sit with her girlfriend at lunchtime. Likewise, the couple was told that if they disobeyed the rules, they would be outed to their parents.
Speaking to BuzzFeed News, Magali said: “We were really afraid on campus. We didn’t hold hands, we hardly hugged or anything.”
“I thought to myself, I don’t know how much longer I can go,” she added.
She finally wrote a letter to her parents of what happened. Her father, Nicolas, said: “It sounded like a suicide letter. It was a huge cry for help.”
The story of a lesbian student at Bishop Amat
Magali told BuzzFeed News that it wasn’t against the rules to be gay in Bishop Amat and said she had checked the student handbook.
But she said that she knew people would disapprove of their relationship so they avoided public displays of affection.
After three years of being under the school’s watchful eye, she found herself at a breaking point. She was crying every day after school and her grades went down.
That’s why she decided to speak to her parents and to the press. Magali told BuzzFeed News: “I really don’t want it to happen to anybody else.”
Fortunately, her parents supported her and pulled her out of the school. Her mother, Martha, said: “They took it upon themselves to parent our daughter, to counsel her, to lecture her.”
“What (the school) showed me about what they stand for and their true values isn’t what they really live up to,” Magali said.