WEST VALLEY, Utah (AP) The words were there on a poster in the lobby of a West Valley high school: “I’m not a fake.”
The poster was a joke, but the real thing happened a couple of years ago.
It’s an image of a girl named Kendra, the daughter of a high school teacher, sitting with a smile on her face as she sat in front of a computer screen with her classmates.
Kendra’s mom was also in the room, her eyes closed and her arms crossed.
Kendra, now 16, was one of the first kids to get into high school in the district of about 7,000 students in this small, mostly Mormon, community of about 15,000.
Her classmates called her a girl in a boy’s body.
They said Kendra had too many friends, and that her boyfriend was cheating on her.
It was a story that touched on many of the issues Kendra and her classmates face in this fast-changing Mormon-majority community.
Her mother was worried about her daughter.
Kendrasha says her mom told her to “take care of Kendra.”
She didn’t want to go back to her old life, she said, because it was hard for her to tell her daughter that she didn’t have to be in that girl’s body anymore.
She went to a local counselor who said Kendrava could come home and be her friend, and he helped her get through her first year at West Valley High School.
She’s still the same Kendra she was, Kendra says.
The counselor told Kendra to get the attention of a teacher, who asked if she wanted to meet with the district’s principal, a district official, and her mom.
They went to the district office, where they found the Principal’s office and the counselor.
It was the first time they had met, the official said.
The two talked and the principal said, “You are not a real girl anymore.
You’re a boy.
She wants you to be her.”
The counselor and her mother told the principal, “I don’t want Kendra anymore.”
He then called her, asking her to come home.
The Principal said, ‘I know you want Kendrashas daughter.
It doesn’t mean you have to hurt her.’
“I feel like I’m really hurting my daughter, the principal says.
‘But I have to do it.'”
But they said, I don’t have a lot of money.
And they said it’s because I don: ‘You have to find a job and take care of her.’
They said, we don’t care what she thinks.
And then the counselor said, you can go home now.
“I got up, I said, but I didn’t know what to do.
I said I wanted to talk to my mom.
I asked her if she could come out and help me.
She said, no, it would be a waste of my time.
But I said it was her fault.
She told me that if she had to see her daughter again, she would be in a bad mood.
And I said: ‘Okay.
But you can’t see her anymore.'”
That’s when my mom was like, ‘Oh my God.
This is terrible.
They don’t even know what she looks like.
What happened to her?
She’s supposed to be the girl.’
“She was really upset and worried and crying.
I went to her house and she was just sitting there crying. “
Then she called me, and she said she had a call in for me.
I went to her house and she was just sitting there crying.
She called me back and told me everything was going to be okay.
I was just in shock.
I don�t even remember that part.”
Kendra’s mother says she did what she could to help, including making phone calls and offering to help.
She says she met with a school psychologist and talked to a counselor.
She says she went back to the principal to say Kendra was still alive.
That was a big relief.
But she says her daughter said that she wanted a different school.
The principal says he didn’t believe her.
He said she was telling me, ‘If you tell me that I have a choice, I’m not going to come back.
I’m just going to go home.’
“The principal said he had no way to know that, and I said he doesn’t have the right to make that choice for me or my daughter.
But he told me he was going back to see Kendra.
He then said, �I’m going to see you tomorrow, but you have no choice.
Kendria is not going back.’
I was crying, she recalls.
I had no idea what I had done.
And she said that I should be thankful that I was a counselor because I didn?t have to deal with it anymore.
She didn?ts remember