COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – A Colorado high school created a “gender-inclusive bathroom” at the behest of a transgender student, and some are concerned about teens of both sexes using the facility at the same time.
Palmer High School senior Doe Schall was very emotional in explaining to KRDO why she lobbied school officials over the last year to create the gender-inclusive bathroom, an achievement she hails as a first in southern Colorado schools.
“Trans kids go through so much. There are people telling them, ‘you’re a freak, you don’t belong, you’re going to hell.’ It’s terrible because these kids have done nothing wrong, they’re doing nothing but being who they are,” Schall said.
Schall told the news site she’s proud of the “safe space” she worked with her supporters to create.
“This space I like a lot because a lot of times I don’t represent a traditional female. I have short hair and glasses. When I go to the women’s bathroom, people tend to look at me like, ‘what is that?’” she said.
KRDO also spoke with another transgender student at the school who is miseducated on the status of transgender laws, though the site didn’t dispute his claims.
“I’m trans. I identify as a gender queer boy. I don’t really feel comfortable in either the men’s or the women’s bathroom,” senior Park Long said.
“In public schools, it is legal to use the bathroom that corresponds to your gender identity, but unfortunately it’s not always super safe,” Long said.
The legality of students using bathrooms that corresponds to gender identity is far from settled, and several cases are currently pending regarding transgender rights under federal Title IX laws.
The Obama administration has repeatedly asserted that federal Title IX laws protect transgender students’ “right” to use whatever restroom or school locker room and shower facilities that they want, but numerous legal experts dispute the government’s interpretation of the law.
Many school districts have created gender neutral restrooms, and made special accommodations for transgender students participating in sports, but many have also rejected requests for all-inclusive facilities at the urging of rightfully concerned parents, EAGnews reports.
At Palmer High School, some students are objecting to the new gender-inclusive bathroom, causing further anguish on Schall and her troubled transgender classmates.
“There has been some backlash,” Long said.
“Even though you may not understand, it doesn’t mean that these kids aren’t facing harassment, aren’t feeling like they don’t belong,” Schall added.
The KRDO news report did not detail the process the students went through – whether the move was approved by school officials or went through the district school board – but it did note that South Dakota lawmakers approved legislation banning transgender students from using restrooms that don’t correspond to their biological gender. South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard vetoed the bill.
The news segment likened the Palmer High School transgender restroom to the “last great LGBT rights battle” for same-sex marriage – complete with clips from gay marriages – and framed transgender student access to opposite sex bathrooms as the next frontier.
Many folks who commented online clearly disagree.
“These kids have bigger problems than not knowing which bathroom to sue,” Linda wrote. “A third of the kids can’t read or write, a third are high on pot, and the other third can’t figure out which bathroom to use. What a wonderful commentary on our country.”
“Leave it to the leftist progressives who run Big Ed to continue fouling and confusing the kids they’re supposed to be educating,” PacksA9 posted.
“The children of this school will handle this better than the adults commenting,” bnovey added.