Two gender-neutral bathrooms open on campus
August 29, 2016
This year, Robinson High School opened up two sets of doors that changed history. After a new district policy was enacted in the end of July, two gender-neutral bathrooms are now accessible on the campus. One is located in the library and the other in the nurse’s office.
In the past, students who were uncomfortable using the gendered bathrooms had to approach Arwen Guida, school psychologist, to use a bathroom in the clinic. As club adviser of the Gay-Straight Alliance, Guida thinks that the gender neutral restrooms are another step in creating an inviting environment for transgender students.
“Now this is going to make [transgender students] be more comfortable with coming to school and going to the bathroom,” Guida said. “A lot of times, in the LGBTQA population, the students don’t feel very connected to their school. When you have things like gender neutral bathrooms and a gay straight alliance, you have administrators supporting these platforms, then students feel more supported and more connected to their school.”
Principal Robert Bhoolai is also in support of the universal restrooms. The universal restroom policy fits in with this year’s school theme, “We are Unknighted,” put in place by Bhoolai.
“The universal restrooms are a big step forward in including all students as a school,” Bhoolai said.
Restrooms have been open since the start of the school year and are all open to all students. Although district policy only requires one universal bathroom on the campus, administrators decided to open two on opposite sides of the campus.
Transgender student Cameron Chapin (‘17) thinks this is just another step forward for Robinson. Chapin has openly identified as a female for over a year and has not dealt with problems at school due to her gender identity, but recognizes the benefits to having a gender-neutral bathroom.
“Using a regular bathroom with two genders, male or female, is uncomfortable for trans people because a lot of people don’t see us as 100% male or 100% female,” Chapin said. “It’s going to help with non-binary or non-conforming people because it doesn’t force them to choose a gendered bathroom. Now there’s a safe place that’s ok for them to use the restroom.”
Administration hopes the universal restrooms are a step to creating a more accepting community on the campus.
“Every individual person is different and you have your own aspirations, your own goals and your perception of the way society views you and you have your own perception of who you are as a person. You have the right to express that,” Bhoolai said.
“We’re hoping by using these universal restrooms, that we’re showing a small token of our ability to understand your hopes and your needs.”
Katherine Weck is a senior in the IB program. She dances outside of school. In her free time, she hangs out with friends and eats Taco Bell.