Students at Bishop Amat Memorial High School, the largest Catholic high school in the Los Angeles metroplex located 20 miles East of downtown LA, walked out of their classes last Friday following a BuzzFeed News report that a lesbian classmate alleging that she was singled out by Bishop Amat officials, who threatened to out her to her parents.
Magali Rodriguez,17, told Buzzfeed’s Claudia Koerner that while Bishop Amat does not have written policy barring same-sex relationships, after she starting dating another, school staff singled her out for her sexuality: “She said she was forced into disciplinary meetings and counseling, barred from sitting next to her girlfriend at lunch.”
Rodriguez, who had attended the school for the previous three years added that if she didn’t follow these rules — which didn’t apply to straight students in relationships — school officials threatened to out her to her parents, who didn’t know she was gay at the time, Buzzfeed reported.
The high school senior told Buzzfeed that she had tried to stay positive throughout her ordeal but admitted that she finally had reached a breaking point. Once her grades had slipped and she was emotionally overwrought suffering from extreme stress, and anxiety, she made the decision to tell her parents and then go public with her story.
“I really don’t want it to happen to anybody else,” she told BuzzFeed.
Her parents pulled her out of the school earlier this week, angered by the school staff’s treatment of their daughter,
“They took it upon themselves to parent our daughter, to counsel her, to lecture her,” Martha Tapia-Rodriguez said.
Following the publication of BuzzFeed News’ reporting Thursday November 7, Bishop Amat students organized a walkout in support of Rodriguez, last Friday.
Several students said they hadn’t heard about Rodriguez’s experience prior to Buzzfeed’s article, and were shocked to learn how she was treated, Buzzfeed reported.
“I never would’ve imagined Amat to be an environment like this,” said one student, who declined to be named. “Once I started to read about the article I was in full shock. I decided to walk out to stand up for her.”
Bishop Amat administrators as well as the Archdiocese of Los Angeles declined to answer questions regarding the her situation, citing student privacy. But an Archdiocese spokesperson disputed the Rodriguezes account, saying it was not “entirely accurate.”