Transgender student 'happy' with support since girls' washroom ban
Published Monday, October 6, 2014 9:06AM EDT
Last Updated Monday, October 6, 2014 10:26PM EDT
A Winnipeg student is receiving a lot of support from schoolmates and online after she was told not to use the girls' washroom at school. Despite the outpouring of support, the transgender 8-year-old’s dad says the family will keep fighting for her rights.
Isabella Burgos was born a boy, but transitioned over the summer, and returned to school in September as a girl.
Her father, Dale Burgos, says the return to school was going well until a parent of another student angrily told Isabella not to use the girls' bathroom.
"(It was) a bit shocking and, from what we understand, it was a parent approaching her right to her face, with finger in face… From my understanding and from witnesses, it was not in any nice terms." Burgos told CTV’s Canada AM on Monday.
Since the incident, Isabella said she’s enjoyed the support of her fellow classmates.
"A lot of friends are supporting me," Isabella, who’s currently sporting a bright pink hairstyle, told CTV's Canada AM. "They are wearing pink on crazy hair day… It makes me feel happy."
People have also been showing their support for Isabella on social media after her mother started the Twitter hashtag #pink4bella, with hundreds of people tweeting their admiration for the Burgos family.
The school has told Isabella that, in accordance with the Manitoba human rights commission, she has to use its gender-neutral washroom. In response, her parents have filed a complaint with the commission, hoping to change the rules.
"It just doesn't seem right and it doesn't seem fair," Burgos told CTV's Canada AM. "She is eight years old and she just wants to use the bathroom… Today it's a bathroom, tomorrow it could be something else. We want to start focussing on the rights that she has as a child."
The family has also filed a harassment complaint with the police against the other mother.
Burgos said when one student is bullying another, that can be dealt with at the school level.
"It's unheard of to have another parent approach another child in a school… and do what she did so we are going to change that."