PVRS students walk out in support of transgendered individuals

  • Many of the students at the Pioneer Valley Regional School in Northfield walked out of school at 9:25 Tuesday morning to “Stand in together in solidarity in response to the recent proposed legislation that would take away human rights of transgendered individuals.”  STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

  • Many of the students at the Pioneer Valley Regional School in Northfield walked out of school Tuesday morning in support of transgenders.  STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

  • PVRS students walked out of school Tuesday morning for about 20 minutes to “stand in together in solidarity in response to the recent proposed legislation that would take away human rights of transgendered individuals.” STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

  • Students at Pioneer Valley Regional School in Northfield participated in a walkout Tuesday morning to support transgendered individuals, standing together “in solidarity ...” in response to recent legislation that would take away their human rights. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

  • A walkout was held at PVRS on Tuesday. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

Staff Writer
Published: 11/6/2018 2:51:43 PM

NORTHFIELD — Ninety-three students walked out of class at Pioneer Valley Regional School Tuesday morning and stood in the rain to show support for transgender people, while the state voted on Question 3, a referendum on a law against discriminating on the basis of gender identity.

“Let them be what they want to be!” said seventh-grader Emily Canon. “Everyone’s human and it doesn’t matter what gender!”

“When we were younger, people told us to ‘become yourself’ and ‘be who you are,’” said 12th-grader Hannah Sliva. “Then when you actually do become who you are, now, you are getting shamed for it.”

The demonstration was organized by Mandy Oliver, who teaches choir, and was supervised by her and other teachers and Principal Jean Bacon. It coincided with other similar walkouts around the country, Oliver said.

The walkout began when the bell rang at 9:25 a.m. Students filed out of school with their teachers to the front sidewalk holding signs with slogans like “Fight for equality” and “#willnotbeerased.” They took photos and talked about the gender issue for about 20 minutes, then went back inside.

“I’m so proud of all the staff and the students for making this happen,” Bacon said. “It’s really important for us as a school to practice universal respect, and this is part of it. Everybody is welcome at Pioneer.”


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