After enrolling at Anson High School last spring, Rinn Kimmichi began using the girls’ bathroom as she usually did. Kimmichi, who is transgender, said she has known from a young age that she was female.
But she said she had been attending the school in Wadesboro about a week when an administrator called her out of class and asked what she had been doing in the girls’ bathroom. He did not accept Kimmichi’s explanation, she said.
"North Carolina has not passed that law yet so you can't go in the female restrooms," Kimmichi, now 18, remembers the administrator telling her.
Soon afterward, Kimmichi said she spoke with the school principal, who agreed to let her use a rarely used restroom in a teacher lounge. But when Kimmichi left the cafeteria one day to use that restroom, the same administrator reprimanded her for skipping lunch, she said. She was suspended from school for a day.
Anson County school officials did not specifically address Kimmichi’s allegations. But in an email to the Observer, District Superintendent Michael Freeman wrote that he had reviewed the student’s claims and feels “confident that my staff has responded appropriately to support all students attending Anson High School.”
That was one of several shocks that Kimmichi said she faced at the school. One girl told her in front of a culinary arts class that “guys aren’t supposed to wear makeup.” Another asked if she was a boy or a girl, she said.
“I said, ‘I’m a transgender.’ And she just laughed right in my face and walked off,” Kimmichi said. “Whenever things like that happen, I wonder: ‘What is so funny about that?’ ”