V. Sue Cleveland High School makes students feel like they are in captivity! We students were coming back from a deserved break, and the day before our parents get an email stating that they are changing the tardy policy and stating that there is no “congregating” in the bathrooms. What [Principal] Affentranger decided was that instead, they will give us one class period of [in-school suspension] in the “storm cellar” if we do not make it to class on time and had the teacher close their doors on us and lock us out. That not only keeps us from preparing for exams, but it also keeps us from learning the information we need to succeed, and isn’t that what school is all about? Succeeding?

As for the “no congregating,” they will make us line up outside of the bathrooms, taking time away from being in the classroom. When you do get the chance to use the restroom, security will be right there watching your every move as if you are guilty until proven innocent. If they believe that you have been in there for “too long,” they will try to look in the cracks of the stalls while using the restroom, and if that happens to me, as a trans kid trying to even build up the courage to use the bathroom, it just makes me feel even worse and scared.

So if Affentranger really doesn’t want us to feel like kids anymore, then he is already winning, but I just don’t want to feel terrified of going into the bathroom or getting ISS for something as small as a tardy. Then I will transfer.

Asher McCann
A student at V. Sue Cleveland High School