LOS ANGELES — A high school in California has converted a girls’ restroom into a “gender neutral” restroom to accommodate students who identify as transgender or no gender at all, commingling both male and female students together in the same lavatory.
The Santee Education Complex in Los Angeles, which is under the jurisdiction of the second largest school district in America, opened the 15-stall restroom on Friday with a new sign that simply reads “all gender restroom.”
According to reports, the Gay Straight Alliance at the high school had petitioned officials for the change, picketing the school following an incident where a female student who began identifying as male was stopped by the janitor after being seen going into the girls’ restroom. The student said she didn’t feel comfortable using the boys’ room as she had heretofore been known at school as a female.
The Alliance also met with administrators to request the accommodation and also submitted a petition of 700 signatures from both students and staff.
The restroom can now be used by boys and girls alike at the same time.
“I feel empowered. I feel like I can do anything,” one student told Fox 11 Los Angeles. “I feel like my voice was heard.”
The outlet noted that some have expressed concern over the safety of students in an arrangement where both boys and girls use the restroom together, as well as incidents of sexual harassment and bullying. The Alliance asserted that its “text a tip” program should be sufficient, along with monitoring by school staff and members of the Alliance.
“Our bathrooms will be monitored. We have a text a tip program so we can text a tip for any concerns or anything, like if anything happens,” student Juliet Dominguez said. “So, it will be completely safe.”
Schools in neighboring districts have all-gender restrooms, but with a single stall. The Santee arrangement is the first to offer commingling of the genders.
Last year, administrators at the University of Toronto temporarily revoked its designation of a gender-neutral restroom at one of its campus facilities after two incidents of voyeurism were reported. According to the Daily Wire, male students had been caught holding their cell phones over the shower stalls to record female students while naked.
“Given the serious nature of these incidents and the impact on directly affected students, we made the decision to specifically designate some washrooms in Whitney Hall for those who identify as men and those who identify as women,” Dean of Students Melinda Scott told reporters.
She said that the university wanted to “provide a safe space for the women who have been directly impacted by the incidents of voyeurism and other students who may feel more comfortable in a single gender washroom in the wake of these events.”
“This makes perfect sense: some students are bigots and would prefer to not get naked in the presence of strangers of the opposite sex,” the Daily Wire sarcastically quipped.
Many of those who watched Fox 11’s report on Santee’s all-gender restroom made similar remarks.
“A simple ‘text a tip’ hotline will not prevent what’s now been facilitated. A ‘hall monitor’ will not prevent the crimes that have now been facilitated (assaults, rapes, attempted rapes, perverts video recording … the list is long),” one commenter wrote. “Yes, all these things can happen in a regular restroom, I know, but this just basically facilitated it 10 fold.”
“This is disgusting and morally abhorrent, even for LAUSD’s standards,” another opined. “Why don’t they fight to raise teacher’s salaries, increase in-seat attendance, and lower the drop-out rate? You know, the actual problems plaguing society and our youth.”