Earlier this week we reported on a transgender Southwood High student, Kami Pham and allegations that she was told her school principal said her photo could not appear in the school yearbook or on the senior wall because she was presenting as female in the photos. Pham says she was also told that she could not walk in graduation wearing a wig and or heels.
We reached out to the school system and principal to ask for a statement regarding the situation and if the student had indeed been told her photo would not appear. We were told that while federal and state law prohibited the district from commenting on individual student cases, they did say they respect student’s rights to express themselves.
Today Principal Jeff Roberts has issued a statement. You can read the statement below.
“In my eight years at Southwood High School, it has been my desire to create an environment in which students felt safe and could excel academically. Over the course of recent days, the positive momentum we have built has been torn down by the false accusations of a student regarding conversations which never took place. I can speak for myself and my staff in stating we never denied this student the ability to have their photo in the yearbook or on the senior wall nor denied the student the ability to walk at graduation. While I have remained silent out of respect for the student, I also must defend myself and my school against claims which have led to threats. I adamantly defend the rights of my students to express themselves and have consistently stated that fact. We at Southwood will continue to conduct ourselves with the utmost integrity and that remains unchanged regardless of the falsehoods leveled against us.”