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West High students walk out in protest over law banning trans girls from sports

Apr 6, 2022, 12:21 PM | Updated: 5:14 pm
west high protest...
Around 100 students walked out of class at West High School on April 6, 2022 to protest a new law in Utah that bans trans girls from playing in girls sports. (Lindsay Aerts/KSL NewsRadio)
(Lindsay Aerts/KSL NewsRadio)

SALT LAKE CITY — A large group of students at West High School walked out of their classrooms in protest of the transgender athlete ban in Utah school sports Wednesday afternoon.

The Utah State Capitol is visible as students protest the state's ban on transgender girls competing in high school athletics at West High. Photo: Lindsay Aerts Around 100 students walked out of class at West High School on April 6, 2022 to protest a new law in Utah that bans trans girls from playing in girls sports. (Lindsay Aerts/KSL NewsRadio) Students gather outside West High School to support the rights of transgender athletes in Utah. Photo: Lindsay Aerts West High School students walked out of class on Wednesday, Apr. 6, 2022, to protest the state's ban on transgender athletes approved last month. Photo creidt: Lindsay Aerts, KSL NewsRadio. Students gather outside West High School in support of transgender rights on Wednesday, Apr. 6, 2022. Photo: Lindsay Aerts FILE: West High Students walk out of class April 6, 2022, to protest the state's new law banning transgender girls from competing in high school sports. (Lindsay Aerts) West High School students walked out of class Wednesday, Apr. 6, 2022 to protest Utah's ban on transgender girls competing in high school sports. Photo: Lindsay Aerts West High Students walked out of class Wednesday, Apr. 6, 2022, to protest the state's new law banning transgender girls from competing in high school sports. Photo: Lindsay Aerts

Mar Arellano, one of the student organizers said they want lawmakers to see the impact of the bill. 

“It obviously mattered, you see all the kids who came and showed up, every kid who came and supported us? You see it matters… We care. You guys [lawmakers] are doing something to us and you guys weren’t even listening to us,” Arellano said.

Arellano and three other students rallied support for the walkout on social media.

Students cheered and chanted in support of the transgender community, chanting things like, “Trans Youth Matter,” and “H.B. 11 has got to go.”

Some administrators estimated close to 1,000 students covered their school’s front lawn which directly faces Utah’s State Capitol.

Several trans students gave speeches, many sharing how the ban has hurt them.

“Does it hurt that there are people who are going to hate crime me, does it hurt there are people out there who don’t care about my voice, yes,” Arellano said. ” But you know doing this today is showing me that no matter what happens…when I have people willing to come out and do all this with me, it’s going to make everything worth it.”

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West High students walk out in protest over law banning trans girls from sports