A multitude of students at Monarch High School in Broward County, South Florida, staged a walkout on Tuesday following the removal of their principal, James Cecil, and four other staff members amid investigations into allegations of a transgender student participating in the girls’ volleyball team, reportedly violating state law.
The event unfolded a day after the school district reassigned Cecil, assistant principal Kenneth May, athletic director Dione Hester, and information management technician Jessica Norton to non-school locations pending the inquiry. Temporary athletic coach Alex Burgess was also informed of a pause in his services during the investigation, told Yahoo News.
Local news footage captured a substantial gathering of students exiting the school premises and assembling outside. Broward Schools Superintendent Peter Licata addressed the situation during a Tuesday news conference, emphasizing the district’s commitment to following state law and ensuring a secure and inclusive learning environment.
He clarified that the investigation was prompted by a community member’s complaint about the transgender student’s participation in athletics. In 2021, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, a Republican presidential candidate, signed a state law preventing transgender girls and women from competing on public school teams designated for athletes identified as girls at birth.
Despite media speculation, Licata denied any connection between the staff reassignments and a recent lawsuit filed by the transgender student and her parents against the school. A federal judge ruled against the student earlier in the month. The school district maintains its dedication to a thorough investigation and a commitment to complying with state regulations.