Wait… There are gender-neutral bathrooms at EHS?

Students at EHS are shocked to find out that our school has gender-neutral bathrooms.

ADA gender-neutral sign. https://www.adasigndepot.com/collections/gender-neutral-bathroom-signs

ADA gender-neutral sign. https://www.adasigndepot.com/collections/gender-neutral-bathroom-signs

ADA gender-neutral sign. https://www.adasigndepot.com/collections/gender-neutral-bathroom-signs

Hailey Rae Darras and Logan Wortman

Did you know that two gender-neutral restrooms are located just off the high school’s library? According to a poll on the Pirateer, the majority of students in our school have no clue where the gender-neutral restrooms are on the TEC campus. LGBTQ+ student Elliot Oman-Blanton wasn’t aware of them, “I haven’t even heard of them until recently.” 

In 2008, Colorado lawmakers worked to ensure that public places were safe for all genders and passed a law that forbids discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in public places, including schools.  

According to an article in Chalk Beat, “the law was put to the test in 2013 when a 6-year-old transgender student in Fountain was denied access to a girls’ restroom. The Colorado Civil Rights Division ruled that Eagleside Elementary School violated Coy Mathis’s rights to use the restroom that best aligned with her gender identity.” 

That law was considered the first step and a landmark victory for transgender rights. 

Then, in December 2014, the Colorado Civil Rights Commission included language called Rule 81.9 of the Colorado regulations, which requires employers to permit their employees to use restrooms appropriate to their gender identity rather than their assigned gender at birth without being harassed or questioned.  

It reads Rule 81.9 – Gender-Segregated Facilities. (A) Nothing in the Act prohibits the segregation of facilities on the basis of gender. (B) All covered entities shall allow individuals the use of gender-segregated facilities that are consistent with their gender identity. Gender-segregated facilities include, but are not limited to, restrooms, locker rooms, dressing rooms, and dormitories. (C) In gender-segregated facilities where undressing in the presence of others occurs, covered entities shall make reasonable accommodations to allow access consistent with an individual’s gender identity.


Then in 2017, President Donald Trump took back protections for transgender students across the country. Protected by Colorado law, Englewood High School and other schools in the state made gender-neutral bathrooms available to students and a priority. 

 A whole different set of students has moved through EHS since gender-neutral bathrooms near the library were set up. Many transgender students didn’t learn from previous students about the existence of restrooms. 


The school counselor and current Gender and Sexuality Alliance (GSA) representative, Amy Bricco says she knows how important it is to have these facilities, “because, under Title Nine, we’re not supposed to discriminate. So they should have free access to every bathroom and then if any student doesn’t feel comfortable with that, then those students can go and use the single-stall bathrooms.” 


Sophomore Arabella Stell had a suggestion, “When freshmen come in, they go through freshman orientation, and adding that onto the tour could get that out much more. “


Junior Elliot Oman-Blanton recounts their experiences at EHS as an LGBTQ+ student, “I don’t know as much for other people, but for me, but there are times when I’m like overhearing people in the halls saying some really phobic stuff.” Oman-Blanton shares his hopes for future students, “I hope that we can create a safe environment for anyone.” 


Student Arabella Stell wants to make sure the information is shared, “Be more open with that, know that they can definitely talk to the teachers. Being trans they can always go to the staff restroom or the gender-neutral bathrooms.”  


Denver county was the first in the state to announce requiring at least one all-gender restroom for student use. EHS followed a few days later. 


Stell expresses her gratitude, “I’m very happy about it. It’s a step in the right direction being more inclusive for all.” Oman-Blanton agrees, “Yeah, I think it’s really good. For people who don’t typically fit into like, either space as well.” 


LGBTQ+ students at Englewood say they are grateful to have access to many supportive resources, including the GSA club, which offers support from fellow students as well as teachers. There are numerous resources available to students who need support. https://glbtcolorado.org/transgender/transgender-resources-support/