A 16-year-old junior at Fort Collins High School says she was suspended for three days last month after using the girls' restroom instead of a staff facility. The transgender student, Dionne Malikowski, says she and other transgender students have been warned before to use the staff restroom instead of the boys' or girls' restroom.
"I cried," Malikowski told 9News. "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."
Though the University of Colorado at Boulder is seeing the growth of gender neutral bathrooms on campus, those options do not exist in Colorado K-12 schools beyond staff restrooms.
Malikowski says she will be transferring to another school and believes that policy is discriminatory.
"I want to be able to use the girls' bathroom without being harassed for it or suspended or having charges pressed against me," Malikowski told the Fort Collins Coloradoan.
Another transgender student at the school, Kurt Peters, 16, said he also has been told not to use the boys' restroom.
"Since it was a first time offense, they let me go," Peters said in LGBTQ Nation. "But I think it’s really stupid that Dionne got suspended and I didn’t. I should have got suspended if Dionne did."