Today it was brought to my attention that a young man, Trevor Wilkinson, was given in-school suspension for wearing nail polish. Yes, you read that correctly. A student, in the year 2020, was given in-school suspension at Clyde ISD in Texas for wearing nail polish because he’s a man. As a person, I cannot even fathom that this is still in any school’s handbook. As a mother, when I look into Trevor’s eyes and see the hurt, pain, and anguish I want to march into that school and give them a piece of mind then find this young man and give him the biggest hug. He does not deserve this. No one does.
But how did young Trevor get to this point? It’s because the adults, the parents of these students did not stay involved and pay attention to the handbook that some archaic school board and school administration has created. We failed Trevor and all young people that have to endure the backward school handbooks that are published in schools all over the United States. And while I cannot address every dysfunctional school district in the United States I can address Clyde ISD in Texas.
How do we change this? We raise awareness! Every single adult in that community needs to get involved. You should feel outraged that a rule like no fingernail polish for men is even allowed in a school handbook. We are in 2020, not 1820. These adults need to activate, organize, and drive change in their community.
So how do they drive change in the community? Find out who is on your school board. Write every single member on the school board and demand change. Demand that this rule in the handbook be revoked and removed. Point out the case Tinker VS Des Moines School District – ruled on in 1969 the courts decided schools could not limit self-expression just because they were on school grounds. Point out that this is 2020 and we need to embrace individuality. Wearing nail polish is not hurting anyone. But shaming someone and then isolating them from their peers is causing severe mental anguish and punishment not to mention damaging his self-worth and esteem. It’s teaching our children to be homophobic and scared of someone that is different than them rather than teaching them to embrace each other’s differences. To accept one another.
Are we not in one of the most divided times in our country? Are people not at each other’s throats because they cannot accept one another’s differences? Celebrate one another? To support one another? It all starts at home. And in the community of Clyde, Texas we are raising children to not accept those that are different. To be cruel and mean to them. To treat them as an outcast. To divide our children. This is not the message that needs to be sent. We need to be sending messages of love and acceptance to our children. It doesn’t matter who you love, what color your skin is or your religion. What matters is your heart and intentions.
We need to raise our children to learn from one another. Not fear one another. To support one another. When a peer is down, help them. Help them up, listen to them, support them, and stand up when you see an injustice. Don’t look the other way. Stand with them and not against them. Life is hard enough as it is, we do not need to make it harder.
Clyde Texas needs to do some serious soul searching and look at their values. Do they want to be known as the town that is stuck in time, not moving forward, that they are part of the problem in the divide we have in America? Or do they want to be part of the solution? I hope they want to be part of the solution. But for that, they need to look at the handbook and remove any rule that promotes hate, sexism, racism, homophobic behavior. They need to start with their school board and administration and set examples these young men and women can look up to. Right now, they are an embarrassment to Clyde, Texas. They are an embarrassment to us all.
If you want to show support for Trevor Wilkinson reach out to the school and let them know they need to get with the times. A list of board members is listed on their website. Contact each and every one of them and let them know this rule of no nail polish for men needs to be removed. It’s out of date. It’s wrong. And it needs to be gone. Reach out to every single person in administration and let them know how you feel about it. Find out if there is a PTA and reach out to them. If there is not, then the parents of the students at Clyde ISD need to organize and push for change. Moms are a force to be reckoned with and I’m sure the moms of Clyde Texas can get this change started if they band together.