California School to Add Gender-Neutral Bathrooms

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Photo: Lucy Nicholson/Reuters/Corbis

At a Missouri high school this week, more than 100 students walked out to protest 17-year-old Lila Perry's use of the women's bathroom after school officials gave her permission to do so at the start of the year. Trans and gender-fluid students, like their adult counterparts, face abuse and trauma when it comes to simple human behaviors, like using the restroom. Although California passed a law in 2013 allowing students to use the bathroom of their choice, Miraloma Elementary in San Francisco is going a step further and plans to make gender-neutral bathrooms available.

SFGate reports that, after parents began raising the issue that the needs of their gender nonconforming and transgender children were not being met, the school's principal vowed to adopt gender-neutral bathrooms over the next few years. There are gender-neutral bathrooms currently in kindergarten and first-grade classrooms, but principal Sam Bass told SFGate that the community is committed to getting the new bathrooms installed for all grades, no matter the cost.

This decision was made to accommodate several young children at the school who were struggling with having to choose a bathroom out of fear of facing bullying from other students. One mother of a gender-fluid first grader told the paper, "I think most people don’t think about how difficult it can be, going to the bathroom for someone like my son." Before you think this is some hippie-dippy San Francisco thing, know that schools in Ottawa are also adopting more inclusive restroom setups. In this case, thanks, Canada.