“I’m suspended right now at Fulton High School in Knoxville, Tennessee because I fought for a trans woman,” said Willum, who shared the video on TikTok with the username @ willum4606, at the start of the video. “I stood up for a trans woman, and she’s got the fucking police outside.”
According to the video, Willum and another student stood up when a trans peer was baptized. Willum alleges that the bullies suffered no repercussions, but that he and his peers did. He alleges that he was described as “combative” and “threatening” when he said he asked why he was suspended and what was going on.
Willum says he was told he was suspended because he used profanity while defending his peer. “She said I was using profanity,” Willum says, although the specific “she” in reference is not named in the video. “Okay, so what, what are you going to do with the real bullies who laughed at her in the hallway and humiliated her and… her entire existence in front of everyone when the class change happened?” What will happen to them? No nothing?”
It’s unclear who called the police and Willum doesn’t say so in the video. Commentators on the TikTok video allege that deputy manager Beth Haun called the police, although this has not been confirmed. Willum, however, “pinned” a comment that includes Haun’s business contact information, which puts the comment at the top of the thread.
“People don’t feel safe at school,” Willum continued. “They are literally threatening his life! Do you know the life expectancy of a black trans woman? She’s a black trans woman and you all see that as something to stay under the rug.
“That’s what it’s like to be black and to be part of the LGBTQ + community in Knoxville, Tennessee at a Knox County school,” added Willum. “This ragged ass school. I can’t stand this school.
We don’t have full details on this situation, but we do know that black students are more likely to be arrested at school and that they are more likely to attend schools where the police are present. Black students are also more likely be suspended than their white peers. Black students are more likely to be disciplined harshly than white students for the same behavior.
Getting the police out of schools is a progressive mission in general, and especially when you consider that the police presence could be legitimately dangerous – if not simply emotionally destabilizing and even traumatic – for students of color. We don’t have all the information on the situation at this Knoxville high school, but it’s easy for viewers to see the real pain, anxiety, and apprehension on the student’s face and voice, especially in reference to the police outside the classroom door. . No one deserves to experience this fear, especially not someone who seemed to stand up for a vulnerable and marginalized peer.