Currently Reading:
One District's Solution to the Transgender Bathroom Dilemma

One District's Solution to the Transgender Bathroom Dilemma

School districts often get caught in the middle of polarizing issues. The matter of transgender students and bathrooms has been one such example, generating a recent spate of lawsuits as opinions clashed and tempers flared.

School districts often get caught in the middle of polarizing issues. The matter of transgender students and bathrooms has been one such example, generating a recent spate of lawsuits as opinions clashed and tempers flared. Amid all this, a Kansas City-area district has come up with what looks like a plausible and fairly simple solution: gender-neutral bathrooms where students of either sex may enter. Inside, individual, lockable stalls with floor-to-ceiling walls provide the students with privacy. Hand washing is done in a common area outside the stalls.

The decision to try out the gender-neutral bathroom concept was made by a committee of district parents and students. So far, the arrangement has worked well, and people are happy with it. Teachers say it makes policing bathrooms easier because they can monitor students from the common sink area. Students, regardless of sex/gender identity, say they feel more secure because of the private stalls. District officials say the concept is going into all new construction and is being retrofit into some existing facilities.

Gender-neutral bathrooms might not be the solution for all schools, but it’s a step in the right direction when people, rather than being combative, come together, collaborate and implement plans that work for their particular schools and kids. We could use more of that.

Terri Thomas

Legal Services

Terri Thomas serves as Director of Legal Services for OPSRC. Ms. Thomas is an attorney practicing exclusively in the area of Oklahoma school law, with a primary focus on rural and smaller school districts. Prior to OPSRC, she served as legal counsel for the Organization of Rural Oklahoma Schools (OROS).

You may also like...

Preventing the Summer Social Media Slide

You made it! School's out, kids are gone, and while you may have vacations planned, summer PD scheduled and you're finally beginning those books that have been waiting for you all year, don't neglect one critical item: your school's social media accounts.

Read More
Let your teachers have a voice!

Let your teachers have a voice! Why not?? In the past week I have read two articles that both stated teachers need more autonomy within their classrooms. Frank Bruni quoted Randi Weingarten, American Federation of Teachers president, in an August 12, 2015 Wall Street Journal Op-Ed column.

Read More
Graduation Cap Feathers to Be Allowed

An update to the ruling on feathers in graduation caps.

Read More
Best gift ever: an online learning upgrade!

We're upgrading our online learning platform to make it better than ever!

Read More

Join in on the conversation