Over 12,000 people and counting have signed a Change.Org petition started by the father of a transgender student in Fort Wayne, Ind., attending Homestead High School.
The student has been going by the name Wyatt for the last three years at his high school. He is now a senior and getting ready to graduate – but the Homestead High School Principal Park Ginder said that he would refuse to call Wyatt by his name and would instead call him by his dead name at graduation.
Wyatt is the name that his friends, family and teachers call him every day but the principal is refusing to honor that.
His father, Brian Thomas, said that the principal is claiming an unwritten rule keeps him from calling Wyatt by his name.
“Teachers, pastors, managers, family and friends know him as a boy named Wyatt. But at graduation, because of an unwritten standard the school administration is unwilling to change, he will be called by his dead name. What is meant to be a celebration will instead be yet another moment of humiliation and embarrassment,” Thomas wrote on the petition.
This isn’t the first time this has happened. Last year, Allen High School transgender teen Jay Alfie and his family had to start a MoveOn.org petition to gain media attention to put pressure on the high school. The high school said that had a policy to not call people by “nicknames” but they eventually folded after Alfie’s family submitted paperwork to legally change his name.
Wyatt’s family hopes that the petition will put enough pressure on the Indiana high school to change the principal’s mind before graduation.
“As Wyatt’s parents, we ask that our wishes be honored on behalf of our precious child. Call the name he will bear legally once the lengthy process of a name change is complete. Call him what his future university calls him. Call him what we and many others call him every day. Call him Wyatt,” the petition reads.