In recent years, we’ve made some strides regarding trans rights. When the Supreme Court decided on allowing same-sex marriages, the actual ruling states that all should be allowed to wed regardless of gender. Certain states have protections in place against discrimination based on gender identity. And while trans bathroom rights are still an issue, some large businesses (like Target) support their trans customers needs. And while we still have a way to go to change minds, you can often count on young folks to point out injustices–like these high schoolers who called out their teacher about a transphobic bathroom pass.
Donna Cravey, a math teacher at Eldorado High School in Albuquerque, NM created a set of bathroom passes for her students to use. No big deal, right? Except that her passes appear to have a clear message about how she feels about gender. The passes have the words Girls and Boys clearly marked along with the common bathroom symbols for “boy” and “girl.” But the real kicker is the sentence at the top of the passes: “Don’t get confused.” I don’t know about you all, but I’ve never in my life seen a pass like that, and I used a lot of passes while in school. While some might not get the slight, it’s obvious to many that it’s a semi-subtle jab at trans kids. Luckily, the kids at Eldorado had plenty to say about it.
Junior Colin Barz was so upset by the transphobic bathroom passes he even took photos and tweeted them at Albuquerque Public Schools:
— Colin Barz (@BarzColin) April 20, 2017
The post was retweeted over 100 times, many of which were also directed at the school district in order to boost the signal. Albuquerque Public Schools (who changed their policy just last year to allow students to use whichever bathroom is appropriate for their gender identity) quickly responded to the tweet:
Thanks for bringing this to our attention. We're addressing it. https://t.co/qN3YoSNVQq
— APS (@ABQschools) April 20, 2017
Other students had plenty to say as well.
“High school is a place where you’re supposed to find yourself, and what you want to do and where you want to go,” student George Martinez told KRQE News 13. “It’s just not healthy for students to feel like they can’t be themselves around school.”
Another student, Lilly Lelugas, felt the passes were rude.
“If you feel like you should go to a certain place, to use the restroom, you should be able to.”
APS spokeswoman Monica Armenta spoke with KRQE News 13 as well, and told them that the passes in Mrs. Cravey’s class were simply “unacceptable.” According to Armenta, the issue has been addressed to Mrs. Cravey.
In a world where trans kids and teens are frequently the target of bullying, and who are at a higher risk of suicide, it’s important to address these kinds of issues and nip them in the bud. I’m really proud of students like Barz and others like him who recognize this inappropriate behavior and are quick to shut it down.