To: LGBTQ Activist groups, SISD School Board, News sources
Sherman Transgender Actor Rights
Sherman High School has released a policy that require students to play theatre roles corresponding to their Assigned Sex at Birth. This is blatantly transphobic and extremely unfair to transgender and cisgender students alike, as both have lost roles. This situation requires publicity and unity in order to show our School Board that this new discriminative policy will not be allowed to stay, and our actors will have their roles.
Why is this important?
This policy is discouraging freedom of expression for students of Sherman High School.
“ It’s affected so many of my friends and it’s actually Insane that I’ve seen more people that doesn’t even live in Sherman talk about this more than the people of Sherman outside of our school. Not only is this transphobic but also awful for the actors also being cut. It’s acting and as an actor u should be able to play any role despite their gender. It’s saddening that this “new policy” was put into act.
-Adeline Phillips, SHS Student
“ It’s incredibly unfair to see my friend Max lose his theater role without justification. The incident is a stark reminder of the discrimination that trans individuals face, and it’s time we stand up against it. We should all be able to express ourselves and pursue our passions without fear of discrimination. This petition is my way of contributing to a more inclusive and accepting world, where everyone is treated with the respect and equality they deserve.“
- Gracie Hightower, sister of transgender student who lost his role.
Max Hightower was cast in a lead role in the upcoming play “Oklahoma!”, and this role was ripped from him due to his assigned sex at birth. Since the character is a biological male, the school policy will not allow him to keep his role and pursue his passion. The school released a statement explaining that “Oklahoma!” Will be postponed due to “mature themes”. This is confusing, because the school has performed this play twice before with no complications. Only now, when a transgender student has a lead role, is the play a problem.
“ I was cast as the role of Ike Skidmore in Oklahoma, and then was told that I would no longer have this role in Oklahoma because the principal said, and I quote, “the district is taking a new path moving forward where boys who were born boys play boy roles, and girls who were born girls play girl roles.” He didn’t assure me any new role or replacement, he just told me he’d let me know what my “part” in the show would be eventually. I was absolutely devastated and I still am that our school district treats us like this, not to mention the fact they have complete control over our theatre program without having a single idea about how theatre works. I’ve been sick to my stomach all week over this, and hopefully sherman realizes their actions and corrects them.“
-Natalie Ball, SHS Student