A teenage girl from Kansas has allegedly been banned from the school bus after saying that she’s a lesbian. Izzy Dieker, 13 and from Americus, attends Americus School but was accused of using vulgar language after the driver heard her talking about her sexuality during the 30-minute ride, KSNT reports. The driver also claimed that Izzy failed to comply with orders, though which orders were being disobeyed haven’t been explained.
- The school has decided to kick Izzy off the bus indefinitely. By the time Izzy got home from school that day, employees had contacted her father to say that she was no longer welcome to use the bus. “Once I got home my dad told me he got a call from the school that I was kicked off for saying ‘I’m a lesbian,'” Izzy told KSNT.
- The school refuses to discuss the matter. While Izzy’s mother, Tasha Cooper, has repeatedly tried to contact school administrators to find out what’s behind the decision and get the matter resolved, so far they’ve been completely uncooperative. In fact, the school superintendent has said he’s unable to discuss the matter despite it directly affecting Izzy. “She’s 13 years old and these are adults acting like this towards her,” Tasha said. “We’ve had talks about other students calling her names and I expect that because they’re repeating what their parents say. But for the staff, the people that I trust her with, I was angry.”
- Izzy feels comfortable in her skin but worries about other kids who might be struggling. While Izzy is secure in her sexual orientation, the fact that LGBTQI+ kids can be treated this way is shocking and upsetting to her, especially since she knows other kids may be struggling. “It made me upset to think that people go through this every day and also that kids are growing up thinking that it’s a horrible thing and they shouldn’t be talking about it at all when honestly it should be the other way around,” Izzy said.
- Her classmates and teachers have all spoken out in support of Izzy. They’ve been wearing pins in solidarity with the teen, and openly LGBTQI+ teacher Michael Lanzrath even spoke out, saying: “I really just wanted to let Izzy know that there are people that absolutely support her. Our job as educators is to make sure that all our kids are taken care of. To us, all means all.”
- The incident is apparently under investigation. While District Superintendent Bob Blair issued a public statement saying that he wouldn’t discuss private student matters, he claimed an investigation is pending and that the “district takes all allegations of discrimination of any kind seriously and will respond meaningfully to any report of discrimination.”