Ky. high school students hold walkouts to protest anti-LGBTQ legislation

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Walkouts were held at two Lexington high schools Friday morning.

Hundreds of students walked out of Lafayette, Dunbar and Danville high schools to protest “anti-LGBTQ legislation.”

At Lafayette, the student-organized rally was described as quick but powerful. There were many cheers and flags waving in the air and posters were held high.

One of the main bills discussed at the event was Senate Bill 150, which has been sent to the House by the Senate.

Right now, students say there are nine anti-trans, or LGBTQ, bills filed in the legislature.

Many student speakers say school is their safe space. Students say they want their voices to be heard and their hope is for senators and representatives to make a change.

“It felt amazing. The power that came from the crowd while I was speaking. It just, it blew me off my feet,” said Joey Hester, student organizer. “Obviously, we did expect support from the school, but in no way did we expect this much support.”

Students like Hester say they’re grateful for the students that decided to walk out, and they say they will continue speaking out on the topic.

Students at Danville High School chanted “trans rights are human rights” outside their school. One student says the movement excited her, but didn’t surprise her at all.

“Students have a history mobilizing around issues like these. This issue directly impacts students and I think the spotlight should be on students at times like this,” said Danville student journalist Ramona Pierce.

Pierce says her peers June Wagner and Sam Wilson, quickly organized a morning walkout and an afternoon demonstration.

“Students demanding to be heard, which we’re seeing all across the state. It’s sad that it has to be done and really frustrating that we have to mobilize and fight for our’s and our peer’s rights. But it is really encouraging to see that across the state, students are leading walkouts and protests and writing, and just showing a firm stance against the hatred of these bills,” said Pierce.

Pierce says they were joined by several teachers and community members who also spoke and shared their stories at the afternoon rally.

We’re at Lafeyette High School in Lexington, where students organized a walkout to protest anti-lgbtq legislature.

They’re giving out signs and flags, and getting ready for student [email protected] — Julia Sandor (@JuliaSandorWKYT) February 24, 2023

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Dirty_Old_Town on February 26th, 2023 at 15:33 UTC »

This is fantastic. I wouldn't be surprised at all to hear about this happening in Louisville or Lexington, but to have a walkout like this in Danville, a small city with a population of less than 18,000 in the dead center of Kentucky, is so important.

gentlemancaller2000 on February 26th, 2023 at 14:29 UTC »

Politicians should realize that these kids will be voters soon

Long_Before_Sunrise on February 26th, 2023 at 10:00 UTC »

I remember how the schools responded to a walkout protest when I was still in school.

The school administration threatened to put it on our permanent records so we'd have a harder time getting into college or getting a job.

As if a high school diploma was still worth what it was in the 1970s.