High school: Girls should avoid restroom if they’re bothered by transgender boy in the stalls
New details have emerged in the case of a ‘transgender’ boy accused of sexually harassing girls in the women’s restroom of a Colorado high school. While school officials initially denied any harassment took place, new details reported by the Pueblo Chieftain indicate that there may be more truth to the girls’ claims than administrators are willing to admit.
Florence High School was plunged into controversy in October after a male student who says he is “transgender” was permitted to use the girls’ restroom facilities. The boy was subsequently accused of harassment – a claim that has been denied by the school.
... School administrators have submitted a report of their findings in the case to PJI, along with a proposal that the girls stay out of the women’s restrooms if the boy’s presence bothers them – a proposal McReynolds says is unacceptable.
“What the school officials have told the girls is that in order to maintain their privacy they can use a single restroom at the office which is not always available and is some distance from a lot of classes,” McReynolds told the Chieftain. “We don’t believe this is reasonable accommodation because the other student has full accesses . We think that is backwards.”
According to PJI, when girls at the school complained about the alleged harassment, they were told that state law was on the boy's side – in 2008, Colorado passed a sweeping anti-discrimination law which banned all discrimination based on “sexual orientation.”
PJI said the girls were warned that if they continued to speak out against the boy's presence in their restrooms, they could face punishment including being removed from the school’s athletic teams or even charged with hate crimes. The group also claims the girls were told that if they didn’t like sharing a bathroom with the boy, they could simply refrain from using those facilities at all.
...According to Matthew McReynolds, an attorney with Pacific Justice Institute of America, a California law firm, three girls from two Florence families are claiming harassment because a boy, who identifies as a girl, is using the Florence High School girls restrooms. McReynolds has brought the issue to the attention of Fremont Re-2 School Superintendent Rhonda Vendetti and school Principal Brian Schipper via an Oct. 10 letter which alleges “sexual” harassment.
“As far as harassment is concerned, the presence of a biologically teenage boy in a girl’s bathroom or locker room is inherently harassing. Some comments were made by (the transgender student) while in the restroom that were directed toward clothing and appearance and that could be considered harassing,” McReynolds said....