Caddo transgender student seeks apology after school denies sayi - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

Caddo transgender student seeks apology after school denies saying 'no' to yearbook picture

Kami Pham, Southwood Highschool Senior. (Source: Kami Pham) Kami Pham, Southwood Highschool Senior. (Source: Kami Pham)
Pham says she was asked to send in other pictures when the pictures instead of the pictures she preferred. (Source: Kami Pham) Pham says she was asked to send in other pictures when the pictures instead of the pictures she preferred. (Source: Kami Pham)

A Shreveport student is asking for an apology from the Caddo Parish School Board after they released a statement saying they never said she could not dress as a woman in her graduation pictures. 

Kami Pham is a senior at Southwood Highschool. The 19-year-old transgender woman claims a school official initially told her she could not have a particular photo put in her school yearbook, and that she could not join her class at graduation dressed as a girl.

"Basically I said can I wear my wig, my makeup and my heels he told me no… I was like well can I wear my nails, he told me yes, I said well If you're going to let me wear my nails why can't you just take the whole package," Pham said.

Pham says before fighting back by reaching out for support on social media, she complied.

"March 9, 2018, when my teacher pulled me out and said I had Friday and Monday to retake those photos or resend her photos...My problem is why did I have to send in another set of photos if the first one should have been approved anyway," Pham said.

The Caddo Parish School Board is on the defensive. In a statement, they said a conversation about whether or not Pham could dress as a woman never happened.

Recently allegations have been made concerning the rights of transgender students at Southwood High School and schools in our district. While federal and state law prohibits the district commenting on individual student cases, the district’s position is clear: Caddo Parish stands by the First Amendment right of students to express themselves and that belief is supported within the Caddo Parish School Board’s approved dress code policy. This expression is without regard to race, color, religion, age, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability.

And even though Pham's preferred picture will be in the yearbook and she will be allowed to walk dressed as a woman, she says what she's looking for next.. is an apology.

"I want the man to state the fact that he actually told me no because if he would've told me yes I would have never done none of this that's common sense if you say yes to somebody.. why would they go this far," Pham said.

Since then, the story has made national headlines, something Kami says she never expected.

"I was actually very, very shocked because I didn't think it would go viral."

The school board spokeswoman says the parish has other transgender students, and will not offer an apology to Pham for a conversation they say never took place.

A petition started by "Southwood students" is aiming to shed a spotlight on Kami's story. Formed on, it says in part:

So as many of us know, this petition was declared a "victory" earlier this week. Though this was initially amazing news, we have to backpedal. 

A recent statement released by our principal in aid of the Caddo Parish School Board has been released, claiming that Roberts never denied Kami Pham the right to have her photos displayed or wearing her outfit of choice at graduation. 

"We strongly believe in Kami, and will continue to side with her despite the allegations being made. We are currently working with our advising team on how to move forward. 

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