"Gay flag" by Guanaco is licensed under Public Domain

Hundreds of Students Protested Their Christian High School for Threatening a Gay Classmate

Nov 14, 2019

By Wren Sanders

On November 8th, roughly 200 students at Bishop Amat Memorial High School, the largest Catholic school in the Los Angeles area, walked out of their afternoon classes to stand in solidarity with a classmate who had reportedly been subjected to disciplinary action because of her sexuality.

The Friday demonstration followed a Buzzfeed report published the day before detailing the school’s alleged mistreatment of Magali Rodriguez, who spent three years at Bishop Amat before institutional homophobia drove her to transfer schools. Though the school did not explicitly bar queer relationships, that didn’t stop school administrators from holding disciplinary meetings with Rodriguez and her girlfriend and ordering them to go to counseling. Speaking with the school’s dean of discipline, Rodriguez and her girlfriend were reportedly informed that they were no longer allowed to sit together at lunch, that they could no longer meet up to chat by the lockers during breaks, and that if any of their teachers or other school employees caught them breaking these rules, Bishop Amat would out them to their parents.

“We both walked out of that meeting just sobbing,” Rodriguez told Buzzfeed of the encounter.

The pair was reportedly the only out queer couple in Bishop Amat’s entire 1,300 coed student body, yet unlike many instances of anti-LGBTQ+ bullying in high school, the source of disapproval did not stem predominantly from Rodriguez’s peers. “I was surrounding myself with people that were really involved in their religion, but still accepting,” she said. “So I never thought there was anything bad about it.”

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