Trevor Wilkinson, 17, a senior at Clyde High School in Clyde, Texas (Twitter/GMA)
Nearly 200,000 people signed a petition supporting gay teenager Trevor Wilkinson, who was suspended by his Texas school for wearing nail polish.
Trevor Wilkinson, 17, a senior at Clyde High School in Clyde, Texas, ignited a row after he returned from Thanksgiving break with his nails painted.
Even though girls at the school are permitted to have their nails painted, Wilkinson was told that it was a breach of the dress code for boys to do so, and the teen was served an indefinite in-school suspension when he refused to back down.
A Change.org petition in support of Wilkinson has now attracted nearly 200,000 signatures, while the teen was even invited to appear on Good Morning America to address the issue.
After the story attracted nationwide attention and a tidal wave of solidarity, the school now appears to be looking to make amends.
Trevor Wilkinson asked to compromise by taking off his nail polish.
The Clyde Independent School District has called a “special meeting” scheduled at Thursday (10 December) to discuss a potential change to the dress code, local media reports.
According to local outlet KTAB, Trevor Wilkinson said that he has had discussions with the superintendent and principal where they pressed him to agree a “compromise” where he would remove the nail polish in order to return to his classes.
He said: “My superintendent and principal tried to respectfully find a middle ground for us to meet on to kind of put this away, but unfortunately I could not do that middle ground, I could not meet them there.
“The middle ground that they wanted was: I take off my nails and in return, they’ll let me speak at the board meeting. But I could not do that because I’ve been to a board meeting before and I spoke about a lot of these things and nothing happened, so I decided to not take the middle ground and to actually stand my ground on this.”
Despite his lack of agreement, the teen said the school has now lifted his suspension – though he will continue to press for the policy to officially change.
Teen vows to ensure school ends ‘double standard’ policy.
Trevor Wilkinson added: “This isn’t just about the dress code. This is about more than that. It’s about discrimination and sexism and homophobia and racism and how not OK it is.”
In a social media post, he added: “Thank you everyone for your support. I cannot express that enough and I could not have gotten this far without you guys! I know a lot of you have called and emailed my school board – flooding their voicemails and inboxes.
“Thank you for standing alongside me to create change so that students like me can express ourselves in authentic ways in school and focus on our studies rather.
“As well as ending the gender norms that society has oppressed on us. Please continue to call and email but for those of you who want to challenge dangerous gender stereotypes you can join me in painting your nails and rocking them all over Texas and the country. Again, thank you all for your support and our voices will not go unheard.”
The school board said previously: “Questions or concerns with the dress code are reviewed individually, and the district cannot share any information regarding specific student.
“The district appreciates the feedback and input on this issue received from members of the community, and will take this into consideration when it conducts its annual review later this school year.”