November 12, 2019 at 1:02 pm PST | by John Paul King
Catholic students stage walkout in support of lesbian classmate

Bishop Amat Memorial High School in La Puente, California, near Los Angeles. (RNS/Photo courtesy of Google Maps)

Students at the largest Catholic High School in California have staged a walkout as a show of solidarity for a lesbian classmate disciplined for her sexuality.

About 200 teens at Bishop Amat Memorial High School in La Puente, CA, walked out of classes on November 8th to protest the treatment of a former student who claims staff mistreated her for three years, eventually causing her to transfer out of the school.

The demonstration came in the wake of a report from Buzzfeed describing the alleged mistreatment of Magali Rodriguez, who told the outlet that she and her girlfriend had been disciplined by the school even though same-sex relationships were not officially banned. The senior student claimed administrators had forced them to sit apart, could no longer chat together during breaks, and told them that if they were caught breaking the rules they would be outed to their parents. The two girls were allegedly even made to attend mandatory counseling sessions.

When Rodriguez decided to come out on her own, her parents were appalled by the mistreatment the school had forced their daughter to endure.

The day after the Buzzfeed article was posted, the student body at Bishop Amat staged a walkout in support of their former classmate.

One student told the outlet, “I decided to walk out because I wanted to take a stand. I didn’t agree with what the administration did with the situation. I feel like it was a good idea for the student body to stand as one to show our support for Magali.”

Since the walkout, officials at the school have taken a hardline stance in their response to the protests, releasing a statement claiming that Bishop Amat “is committed to providing a supportive and inclusive learning environment for all students, irrespective of their sexual orientation,” before going on to add that students are also “held to the same policies and procedures in compliance with the accepted teachings of the Catholic Church.”

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