Bigot of the Week Award: November 18, Poudre School District

18 Nov

Bigot of the Week

In a sad parallel to this week’s Hero, Fort Collins High School, part of the Poudre School District in Colorado, earns this week’s BWA for its treatment of transgender students. Dionne Malikowski, a 16-year-old junior, was suspended for using the women’s bathroom at the high school. The school acknowledges that she is transgender, but insists that she only use a staff bathroom; these bathrooms are far fewer than those for students, thus denying her equal access. Dionne is so upset by the situation that she has decided to transfer to another school.

Sadly, the school district has taken this stand despite the fact that Colorado is one of the few states to have clear protections in place for its transgender citizens, including bathroom access. Schools are often given special exemptions in the interest of “student safety” despite the clear recommendations of the Transgender Law Center. As Dionne herself wisely points out, she would likely be less safe using the men’s bathrooms.

Dishonorable mention goes to the Union-Scioto local schools in Ohio for their refusal to act promptly in updating their bullying policy and practice after the beating of this week’s Hero, Zachary Huston.

2 Responses to “Bigot of the Week Award: November 18, Poudre School District”

  1. Jay November 18, 2011 at 5:27 pm #

    I sympathize with Ms. Malikowski. The restrooms for male students at my high school were grungy at best and terrifying at worst. The stalls had no doors and tough boys would glare at you if you dared to enter and use the facilities. I can only imagine how frightening it would have been had I presented as trans or gender queer.

    In fact, I can only remember using the restrooms at high school twice in four years. That I had such impressive bladder control is a testimony to youth, not having yet discovered coffee, and fear of receiving an ass-kicking or worse.

    • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt November 18, 2011 at 10:48 pm #

      Great comment. Regardless of gender orientation or gender identity, I remember boys’ bathrooms at school as being scary and disgustingly dirty.

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