ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -A high school teacher’s bathroom passes have left students upset and shocked, as the passes appear to take aim at transgender students or students who identify with a gender other than the one they were assigned at birth.
The passes were given out to Mrs. Donna Cravey’s math students on Thursday. The passes have men’s and women’s restroom signs on them, with the words “girls” and “boys” in big, bold letters on each side. On the top, the passes say, “don’t get confused.”
Students KRQE News 13 talked to after school were bothered by the “don’t get confused” text on the passes, interpreting it as a jab at gender identity issues.
“It’s kind of rude,” Lilly Lelugas said. “If you feel like you should go to a certain place, to use the restroom, you should be able to.”
“High school is a place where you’re supposed to find yourself, and what you want to do and where you want to go,” George Martinez said. “It’s just not healthy for students to feel like they can’t be themselves around school.”
“It’s okay to have those kinds of beliefs. It’s okay to have any kinds of beliefs, but you shouldn’t be pushing it on kids like that,” Sebastian Lawrence said.
Junior Colin Barz went as far as to tweet a picture of the passes at APS’s Twitter account. His tweet has garnered more than 100 retweets and dozens of likes.
APS responded by quote-tweeting the picture, saying, “Thanks for bringing this to our attention. We’re addressing it.”
KRQE News 13 reached out to APS spokeswoman Monica Armenta who called the passes “inappropriate” and “unacceptable.” She said Mrs. Cravey has been talked to about them.
Junior Matthew Farmer, who has Mrs. Cravey for Algebra 2 and received the passes Thursday morning, thinks his teacher didn’t mean to offend anyone. He says she told students she made her bathroom passes several years prior and has used the same templates ever since.
“Years ago, it was not a controversial topic,” Farmer said. “It is nowadays, I just don’t think that she sees that and doesn’t understand.”
Still, other students think teachers should be up-to-date and aware of these kind of issues.
APS changed its policy this school year so that students can use the restroom which corresponds with their gender identity.
“Teachers, they should be held to a higher standard,” Tyler Thibodeau said. “Because they obviously they influence the kids a lot.”