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Lesbian teen in Mississippi called 'pathetic fool' by principal and humiliated by teacher is suing school district

After semester of alleged abuse at hands of students and adults, Destin Holmes was asked not to return to the school
Photo: Southern Poverty Law Center

All Destin Holmes wanted was to go to school and to dress 'tom boyish' which is the way she feels most comfortable.

But the Mississippi teen's school day was made a living nightmare by not only the students at Magnolia Junior High School in Mississippi, but also by her principal and some teachers.

'It was only one semester because they told me they didn't want me there anymore,' she says in a video. 'Knowing that they didn't want me there, it felt terrible.

The Southern Poverty Law Center announced Tuesday (17 December) that it has filed a lawsuit against the Moss Point School District for allegedly failing to protect students like Holmes from anti-LGBTI abuse.

After being home schooled for awhile, Holmes then attended Moss Point High School and says she suffered similar abuse including by a teacher who insisted on referring to her by a male pronoun.

The SPLC states that the lawsuit was filed only after they failed to reach an agreement with the school district over a resolution on how to protect the rights of LGBTI students.

The group's own investigation found that district students, faculty and administrators have targeted lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students because of their actual or perceived sexual orientation and nonconformity to gender stereotypes.

SPLC staff attorney Anjali Nair says: 'District officials who are entrusted with the safety and education of all students not only ignored, dismissed and even blamed victims for the abusive behavior of faculty and other students, they also participated in discriminatory acts.'

Holmes, in a YouTube video posted by SPLC, tells of being repeatedly called a dyke, a freak and a 'he-she' by students at the junior high.

But the biggest humiliation came at the hands of some teachers including one who she says refused to allow her access to the girls restroom.

Fighting back tears, she described what happened one day in class when the students were about to begin a game of Jeopardy.

'The class was divided between boys and girls and I wasn't on a team, I was by myself in the middle. The teacher told me I had to be in the middle. She said, "You can just be on a team by yourself." I felt unwanted and left out.'

The teacher allegedly referred to Holmes as an 'in-between it.'

The principal was no help. He allegedly called her a 'pathetic fool' and said: 'I don’t want a dyke in this school.'

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