Wyatt’s father started the petition after discovering the school’s plan.
A petition started by the father of a transgender teen, Wyatt Thomas, has successfully stopped an Indiana school from deadnaming him at his graduation ceremony.
Deadnaming is when someone uses the birth name of someone who has chosen to use a different name. This is seen as very disrespectful due to it disregarding someone’s identity.
Despite having transitioned three years ago, with teachers and friends knowing him by his chosen name, due to an “unwritten standard” the Homestead High School was going to deadname Wyatt.
Wyatt’s father’s petition attracted over 14,000 signatures and he revealed on Friday that the school had reversed its initial decision.
Confirming the news, Wyatt’s father wrote: “The school has agreed to call him Wyatt at graduation. This has been a matter of purposeful discussion and careful consideration on the part of the school, and a procedural decision has been made that benefits Wyatt.
“We are grateful the school took this request seriously and gave it the attention it deserves. Thank you to all who signed this petition. The impact of your support, encouraging words and positive vibes has been felt and received with astounded gratitude. On to graduation!”
In response, the school district said: “Every organisation has policies, procedures, and guidelines that have historically served them well. However, no policy, procedure, or guideline is perfect or permanent.
“An organisation must be willing to listen and reevaluate its practices to ensure they continue to align with their broader mission, especially when the mission involves being a safe and open learning environment.”
Wyatt will graduate in June.
Last year, another Indiana school came under fire after it refused to allow a Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) to use terms like ‘gay’ or ‘LGBT+’. School administrators renamed the GSA to the Leo Pride Alliance.
The GSA was also limited to only being allowed to meet in one room and it wasn’t allowed to take part in school fundraisers. A request for an LGBT History Month bulletin board was also rejected.
Ken Falk, the legal director of the ACLU branch in Indiana said: “By creating additional hurdles for the Leo Pride Alliance, and censoring the group’s name, the school is infringing on these students’ rights.”