UPDATED 12/15, 10:40 a.m. ET: Lil Yachty, rocking Christmas nail art, spoke to TMZ about the ridiculousness of 17-year-old Trevor Wilkinson being suspended in Texas. The "Oprah's Bank Account" rapper also plans to reach out to the teen.
“If someone wants to express themself in any type of way, as long as it’s not harming anyone or bringing anyone down, they should be allowed to do so. … You shouldn’t be punished or tormented for being you,” Yachty said.
Yachty’s been working on his own nail paint brand, as well. “It’s essentially like, it’s unisex but I want it to be more focused on for men to use it, and to be more comfortable in their own skin. Because bro, it’s 2020, you know what I’m saying, like it’s about to be 2021—come on, what are barriers? We still have barriers?”
See original story below.
Senior Trevor Wilkinson is accusing his West Texas high school of sexism and homophobia, after administrators gave him in school suspension for going to class with painted nails.
“Imagine your school not allowing boys to paint their nails and giving boys iss for it,” Wilkinson tweeted. The 17-year-old attends Clyde High School, where the current student handbook doesn’t allow boys to wear makeup and nail polish. “And the whole administration being okay with it, homophobic and sexist? Welcome to west texas.”
Wilkinson is openly gay, and told the Abilene Reporter-News that the nail polish helps him express himself. “I have been doing this to express who I am,” he told the newspaper. “I’ve been trapped in closed minded people’s minds. So, I did it and I love my nails. I think they’re so cool. I’m definitely using it to express myself and feel everyone should have that freedom of expression.”
Wilkinson received three days of in school suspension. "Parents and students are provided a copy of the dress code prior to the start of each new school year,” Clyde Consolidated Independent School District Superintendent Kenny Berry said in a statement, defending the dress code.
This is only the latest instance of a Texas high school holding fast to discriminatory dress codes enforced on students, even in 2020 as celebrities from James Charles to Bad Bunny reinforce that nail polish and makeup belong to no particular gender.
Wilkinson shared his experience in a Change.org petition to highlight the injustice of his suspension. It has already received over 73,000 signatures. “This is unjust and not okay,” he wrote on the petition. “I am a human. I am valid. I should not get in trouble for having my nails done.”
According to the Hill, school officials told Wilkinson he must remain in in-school suspension or take classes online until he removes the nail polish.