Marlborough Girls’ College reportedly has some concerns for its students’ “comfort” and “safety”, though it appears to care very little about the comfort and safety of young transgender student Stefani Rose Muollo.
Muollo, who started a change.org petition on Tuesday, has attended the school for nearly half a year, using the girls’ bathrooms like all of the other girls. It wasn’t until a teacher asked her dean which bathroom she was supposed to use that a problem arose. Why Stefani’s bathroom visits were any business whatsoever of that teacher’s, we’ll likely never know, but since that conversation, life has become increasingly difficult her.
Stefani explains on her petition page that she was first told by her dean that she “should be using the boys toilets because [she] was a boy.” That’s right, it was suggested that a 16-year-old girl should use the men’s toilets at an all-female school campus. Of which there would be few, and those few would likely be used by male staff.
I’m sure that the male staff at Marlborough Girls’ College are wonderful people, but what a way to make a young transgender woman feel safe – suggest that she uses the toilets used by her adult male teachers.
The management apparently doubled down on that terrible idea and went so far as to claim that an agreement had been made when Stefani enrolled at the school that she’d use the men’s bathrooms, though she can’t recall any such agreement. The eventual [bullshit] ‘solution’ to the problem (of a girl wanting to use the girls’ toilets) was to force Stefani to use the four gender-neutral bathrooms available on campus. So she must now trek all over the school to find a bathroom that doesn’t use the sex she was born as 16 years ago as a deciding factor for admittance.
The school's acting principal, Jo Chamberlain, told Radio New Zealand that the school will undertake a review into the issue. "We continue to work through this process with the student, seeking appropriate advice and information to support next steps. This process is ongoing and we remain dedicated to continuing to work through it."
Stefani’s petition had gained nearly 5,000 signatures at the time of writing, and many supportive comments. One particularly on-point message came from fellow student Emma Botha:
This is absurd that she should be treated this way… I have never felt unsafe or uncomfortable at [the] thought of any non cisgendered student using these bathrooms. The only thing in the bathrooms that make me feel unsafe and uncomfortable are the hand soap dispensers which look like they haven’t [been] changed since I begun at the school nearly five years ago.
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