Wednesday Walkout

Protest Against Anti-LGBT Legislation


Jimmy Hepler

Myles Creighton, ‘26, along with others, protests outside of West. Some of the chants students used were “We are gay and we are proud,” and “Go gays”.

Jimmy Hepler, Reporterr

Grass is getting greener, and the weather is hinting at spring. Change can be felt in the air and… in our Iowa laws. Bills that could shake up the LGBT community are being introduced throughout Iowa, and West High students have spoken up.

A slew of anti-transgender and anti-LGBT bills might be passed in Iowa. These bills, if passed, could out transgender students to their parents/guardians, and they could be restricted from changing their pronouns without written parental consent, or could even try to ban same sex marriage. Multiple schools across Iowa have already hosted protests. On Wednesday, March 1st, West High students rallied outside in protest of these bills.

“I’m out here because I think I should be just fine loving whoever I want to love,” junior Alyssa Hahn said.

The protest started at 1:10pm, and students immediately gathered on the scene to show their love and support.

“It’s nice seeing all these people getting along with each other and having people to talk to,” sophomore Adrian Evans said. “It’s a nice thing to bring people together.”

Some brought and waved their pride flags. Others made their own signs out of markers and paper and presented them proudly. Students participated in plenty of prideful chants, and all cheered on as cars honked passed the rally.

“I like to find support,” freshman Elliot Griffith said. “I want to put the word out there and try to get more support, especially in our own community.”

Although many students did walk out, the majority of West students didn’t. There are many reasons why, from support of the bills, to not wanting to miss class, to not wanting to get in trouble with their parents for an unexcused absence. Senior Hailey McClure is not in support of the bills, but she still felt she wouldn’t get listened to anyways. 

“I feel like a lot of people don’t take student opinions as seriously as they should, rather than adults [opinions],” McClure said.

The walk-out was mainly composed of people who participated in the gathering to protest. The atmosphere was cheerful, but there was a sense of uneasiness and uncertainty for the future of the LGBT community. However, with this protest, and several others similar to it occuring around Iowa, students do aspire for only the best going forward.

“Something has got to happen,” senior Maddox Hauschild said. “[The protest] could affect any future laws that try to be passed in the city. I can see that happening.”

Overall, students protested against anti-LGBT laws in hopes their voices are heard. They want to see change in the system and want equity for everybody.

“We are doing this for a good cause. We’re not idiots trying to get out of class for free,” Hauschild said. “Just because we like the same gender, or we feel as if we are of a different gender, that doesn’t make us monsters or sinners. We’re people and we deserve rights, too.”