NewsCovering Colorado


Students walk out in protest of possible District 11 pronoun ban

D11 school board introduced a new policy that could prohibit teachers from asking students' their pronouns
Posted at 10:24 PM, Feb 27, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-03 09:57:16-05

COLORADO SPRINGS— About 20 students walked out of class and protested in front of D11's administration building on Monday.

"I'm a transperson and it's very important to me that transpeople feel safe and accepted at schools," said one student Ethan Anderson.

Students from D11, D12, and D14 all took part. Some waved and wore pride flags as they raised hand-made signs in the air.

"Absolute outrage and that's why we're out here today," said another student Meghan Taylor.

Drivers honked as they passed by as students scream, 'we love you,' back.

"They stand to be impacted the most impacted by this policy decision and it's important that we listen to their voices," said D11 school board member Julie Ott in a text.

Ott disagrees with this possible policy change.

"Many teachers use that as a way of honoring their students and their students' identity," said Ott.

D11 school board vice president, Jason Jorgenson, requested this policy change at the meeting on February 8th.

"That's none of our business to be promoting that or in our younger kids' confusions 'what's my pronoun? I'm whatever,'" said Jorgenson.

Four school board members, which is the majority, agreed. Policy revisions are currently being looked at by the policy subcommittee.

The district's communication chief officer, Devra Ashby, said the policy subcommittee may bring revisions back to the board's vote in late spring.

If passed, students could tell teachers their pronouns voluntarily but teachers wouldn't be allowed to ask.

"That creates a hostile space because that means that that student is one and alone and they could be targeted," said Taylor.

28% of students who identify as transgender get bullied in school, according to the Healthy Kids Colorado 2021 survey. More than half said they seriously considered attempting suicide.

"It seems that something that is so unnecessary, like asking for somebody's pronoun is so benign thing and I'm very shocked and disappointed," said Anderson.

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