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Transgender students in Colorado warned not to use restrooms

Thursday, November 10, 2011

FORT COLLINS, Colo. — Two high school students in Fort Collins, Colo. — who identify as transgender — say that attitudes displayed by the school’s administrators make them feel unwelcome on campus, including being prohibited from using the same restrooms as other students.

KUSA-TV

Kurt Peters (left) and Dionne Malikowski

Dionne Malikowski and Kurt Peters, both 16, have been instructed by officials at Fort Collins High School to use staff restrooms or face disciplinary measures.

Malikowski, who was born male, and Peters, who was born female, told KUSA-TV in Denver that that faculty and staff at Fort Collins High has not been receptive to their needs as transgender individuals.

“To be one sex that feels like they’re the other sex,” Malikowski said defining what a transgender person feels.

Inside Fort Collins High School, the two say they are asked to use staff restrooms.

“There’s not staff bathrooms all over the school, so when you really got to pee, you got to pee,” Malikowski said.

That’s what she says happened about a month ago when she used the women’s restroom. She was told she’d be suspended for three days.

“I cried,” Malikowski said. “I told them that it was really messed up for them to do that to me, and they were like, ‘We’ve warned you before,’ and I was just like, ‘Obviously you don’t understand what it’s like.’”

The school won’t comment because of student confidentiality, but on the school’s website “defiance” is listed as one reason a student can get suspended.

“I feel like the school doesn’t really understand what it’s like to be in our situation,” Malikowski said.

Peters said that a similar incident occurred when he used the men’s room, although in that instance he only received a warning not a suspension.

“Since it was a first time offense, they let me go,” Peters said. “But I think it’s really stupid that Dionne got suspended and I didn’t. I should have got suspended if Dionne did.”

A spokesperson for the Poudre schools superintendent Dr. Jerry Wilson, told LGBTQ Nation there is not an across-the-board policy for bathroom use by transgender students.

According to KUSA-TV’s report, without input from school officials, it’s impossible to know exactly what happened in the hallways of Fort Collins High School, but the two students say they feel punished for who they are.

“It kind of makes us feel like we’re not welcome,” Malikowski said.

Brad Stauffer, Director of Communications for the Colorado Association of School Boards, told LGBTQ Nation on Thursday that the problem confronting school administrators statewide is the absence of case law covering these legal scenarios in Colorado, and that the association hasn’t provided any guidance to school districts.

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Filed under: Colorado

40 more reader comments:

  1. lawsuit tht jus wrong

    Posted on Thursday, November 10, 2011 at 9:05pm
  2. Sue. Sue them for everything they’re worth. I’m now ashmed to live in Colorado. I thought we were more open minded than that.

    Posted on Thursday, November 10, 2011 at 9:06pm
  3. That is so unneccessary… And highly unacceptable.

    Posted on Thursday, November 10, 2011 at 9:06pm
  4. Brush your shoulder and keep walking.

    Posted on Thursday, November 10, 2011 at 9:06pm
  5. it’s a known fact: most school administrators are mentally challenged!

    Posted on Thursday, November 10, 2011 at 9:07pm
  6. So fail…now I don’t want to say I live in Colorado

    Posted on Thursday, November 10, 2011 at 9:08pm
  7. This is appalling and there is plenty of room to sue. Title IX! I live in Laramie Wyoming so if anyone is planning to do something about this I can get a group of 8-15 people to come down there.

    Posted on Thursday, November 10, 2011 at 9:10pm
  8. Don’t use God to justify your hate. Don’t hate what you don’t understand. Don’t be another ignorant being. Gays do not harm anyone, and hate is not only harmful to the one portraying it but the one receiving it. So think next time you say something hurtful.

    Posted on Thursday, November 10, 2011 at 9:15pm
  9. Because urinating is totally a lifestyle choice. They totally should have just chose not to be urinators. *rolls eyes* Good lord, Colorado. Your scenery is beautiful, but your human rights… not so much, I suppose.

    Posted on Thursday, November 10, 2011 at 9:15pm
  10. Because being transgender affects your natural right to pee when you have to? Logical reason = not apparent.

    Posted on Thursday, November 10, 2011 at 9:19pm
  11. Try the awkwardness of using the locker room with a bunch of girls. *Cringes* Transgender people are human to, and humans have a natural thing where they have to pee. They could ask any science teacher.

    Posted on Thursday, November 10, 2011 at 9:21pm
  12. Hey teacher, leave these kids alone!

    Posted on Thursday, November 10, 2011 at 9:23pm
  13. How lame is that? It’s a closed stall for crying out loud!

    Posted on Thursday, November 10, 2011 at 9:34pm
  14. @John Yes this is beyond fucked up, but no need to bring in the ableist slurs

    Posted on Thursday, November 10, 2011 at 9:34pm
  15. Really? Stupidity… just plain stupidity.

    Posted on Thursday, November 10, 2011 at 9:37pm
  16. Why is it that every problem ever to do with trans people is always something bathroom related? We are constantly reduced to our genitals. People have to go, it’s a fact of life and no matter what you are you too will have to go. So why does it matter trans or not? I get so sick of this crap (lol) and if I run into something like this when I need to go I will fight it. For god sakes just let people go in peace, what do they think we’ll do in there anyway? Oh, I know, they think we’ll peek and satisfy some tranny perversion. Well, I’ve got news for people that think stupid things like that, we just go to the bathroom because we have to, there’s really no weird perversion involved. In fact, I have seen more weird perverted things happen in the bathroom between cis people that has literally made me feel disgusted than any trans person has ever done. I wish I could have blocked my eyes out, cis people are really screwed up, Really.

    Posted on Thursday, November 10, 2011 at 9:49pm
  17. Thats Terrible.

    Posted on Thursday, November 10, 2011 at 10:08pm
  18. We so desperately need EQUAL RIGHTS for ALL

    Posted on Thursday, November 10, 2011 at 10:32pm
  19. guess the school admin. had nothing better to do…

    Posted on Thursday, November 10, 2011 at 10:42pm
  20. Really? Are they serious?
    What happened to the school policy that states no student should be discriminated against because of their ethnicity or gender?
    How is this even logical?

    What’s next?
    We go back to the way it was with segregation between the blacks & the whites, except this time, it’s the transgendered & non-transgendered?

    Give me a freaking break people.
    This is beyond ridiculous.

    Something immediate needs to be done about this.

    Posted on Thursday, November 10, 2011 at 10:49pm
  21. This is crazy. Get a grip homophobs

    Posted on Thursday, November 10, 2011 at 10:51pm
  22. Well i guess they shall use the bushes? FUCK THAT! build some transgender bathrooms if you won’t let them use Regular restrooms… assholes!

    Posted on Thursday, November 10, 2011 at 10:54pm
  23. fuck high school–see if u can enroll in the “Dual Program.” Where U can attend college for most of your credits. College is so much more open and we have “SAFE” LGBT groups and advocates

    Posted on Thursday, November 10, 2011 at 11:14pm
  24. a shame,a shame

    Posted on Thursday, November 10, 2011 at 11:21pm
  25. WTF!!!!

    Posted on Thursday, November 10, 2011 at 11:55pm
  26. What the school administrators are saying is bullshit. It’s unfair.

    Posted on Friday, November 11, 2011 at 12:04am
  27. But you can’t judge a state from what these school administrators are doing. Being ashamed of your entire state because of the actions of a few individuals is as stupid as it gets.

    Posted on Friday, November 11, 2011 at 12:05am
  28. This is what happens when ignorant people are in charge. The problem is the administration’s basic lack of common sense.

    Posted on Friday, November 11, 2011 at 12:13am
  29. I am sick of the intolerance exhibited by some animals in the human world.

    Posted on Friday, November 11, 2011 at 12:19am
  30. Whaaat???!!! This is ridiculous.

    Posted on Friday, November 11, 2011 at 1:13am
  31. Yes, I too live in Colorado and find the same problem at my sons school. Kindergarten age transboy has to go to the office bathroom also. Way to not single him out!

    Posted on Friday, November 11, 2011 at 6:30am
  32. They should be legally protected!

    Posted on Friday, November 11, 2011 at 6:43am
  33. This is so sad! I deal with the same thing…I’m a trans woman who is enlisted in the military and I have to still serve anonymously because when they repealed DADT it didn’t effect the trans community one bit! They say they don’t discriminate against race, age, gender, etc. yet all of these organizations continue to do so anyway…BUT, I just keep my head high and keep on doing what I do best anyway! And I always use the women’s room like normal when I’m out anywhere…honestly, I haven’t had any issues as of yet…I hope it stays that way. I’m glad and thankful to see that most people are supportive and accepting…I thank everyone for that! That’s what I’m thankful for this year :-)

    Posted on Friday, November 11, 2011 at 7:57am
  34. Also, I think both of these students look great!! Keep up your positive attitude and don’t take no crap from anyone!! High school is only a temporary drag anyway…college (as one of the comments said) is far better anyway :)

    Posted on Friday, November 11, 2011 at 7:59am
  35. Wtf! Insane

    Posted on Friday, November 11, 2011 at 8:01am
  36. Why is it “insane”, “disgusting”, “sick”, etc. to prohibit a “transgender” from using the denoted bathroom of his/her gender du jour? Uh, maybe some are uncomfortable with the sincerity of transgender claims? It has never, and never will be, scientifically proven that anyone can be “trapped” in a body that is not the gender of what one is born biologically. You know, there is a mental illness where physically healthy people want to have their limbs amputated. They say they “always” felt they should not have their legs, that they “feel” more comfortable in a wheelchair or with their legs bent under them. Some of them have gotten psychiatric help and can’t believe they ever wanted to have amputations. The human mind is marvelous in its capacity to form realities out of impressions. This has brought us greatness and vileness. Homosexuals, transgenders, transvestites, people who want amputations for
    no medical reason,rapists, murderers, liars,etc., etc.: you are all sick, your minds have become twisted and diseased. Some of you were twisted by others, some of you wanted to be twisted, but all of you desperately need help, and can get it if you want.

    Posted on Friday, November 11, 2011 at 1:52pm
  37. Like anyone would choose to use a public restroom if they didn’t have too. I can guarantee you there’s no secret agenda in a Trans person using a bathroom because they REALLLLLYYYYY need to use it!! People really have their heads up there asses over this kind of stuff!

    Posted on Friday, November 11, 2011 at 5:27pm
  38. @Sam, I am saddened by your comment, but at the same time, I wouldn’t expect some people to get it…some people, you can explain it to them until you are blue in the face, but in the end, it’s just like talking to a piece of sheetrock…you can talk to it all day, but in the end, all it does is make a wall look pretty and neat. I only hope that one day, you can begin to be more accepting of others who are different. I’m thankful that people are different…can you imagine if every single person was exactly another Sam? What a dull and boring world it would be!

    Posted on Saturday, November 12, 2011 at 5:36am
  39. @Sam : What rock do you live under anyway? There isn’t any logical way to reply to your ranting because there’s no logic, there are facts, nothing to base your hatred upon except your need to make yourself feel more powerful than others. That is a fact established by psychologists. GO back under your rock, look in the mirror and talk to yourself because the rest of us don’t want to listen to your crap.

    Posted on Saturday, November 12, 2011 at 11:59am
  40. That’s fucked up! They are no different from anyone else!

    Posted on Sunday, November 13, 2011 at 11:50am