STAFF ED: Gender Neutral


Photo from Wikimedia Commons

The Globe takes a stance on the current discussion around unisex bathrooms.

In May of 2017 we asked for the inclusion of public gender-neutral bathrooms at CHS through the Globe staff editorial.

With the Trump Administration threatening to change the definition of gender, we are reminded of the daily discrimination experienced by the LGBTQ+ community, and we are calling on CHS, again, to make a public display of acceptance and support towards gender non-conforming students by adopting a more public gender-neutral bathroom.

Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972, states, “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”

Luckily, CHS has done an outstanding job keeping this in mind. Students are able to join Gender Sexuality Alliance, use the restroom pertaining to their correct gender, and the administration is open and responsive to student’s concerns.

However, the current system for gender-neutral bathrooms at CHS fails to include everyone. The administration allows students who do not feel comfortable using the gender specific bathrooms to use the front office restroom, and the nurse’s office restroom.

“I feel like it makes people feel like they are diseased or contagious. Maybe they feel like they are more cut off and they don’t feel like they are as connected to the other students,” CHS freshman Ryan McDowell said.

It is important that no student at CHS feels excluded from the rest of their peers.

This is why implementing one or more gender-neutral bathrooms would be beneficial to our school community.

“I hope that all of our students walk into our school feeling physically safe, emotionally safe and feeling accepted … that students feel comfortable and not feeling singled out,” said Superintendent Dr. Sean Doherty.

According to Doherty, students should focus on their education, rather being anxious about basic rights and needs.

“I don’t want kids walking around the halls of high school worried about where they’re going to go use the restroom versus worried about what’s on their social studies test,” Doherty said.

With the current system in place it gives students a chance to use the restrooms without a lot of fear, but depending on where you are in the school, it can take up to four minutes to walk there, two to three minutes to use the restroom, and four minutes to walk back.

By the time students would get back to class, they will have missed almost ¼ of the class period, which does not match up with the ultimate goal being a focus of learning.

One of the problems we face as a school is finding a location in which to potentially install gender neutral bathrooms.

Because of the plumbing and construction of the building, especially the new wing, it would be substantially more difficult to install a completely new restroom.

Our school is plentiful with restrooms designed specifically for the staff, in the front office, not to mention in alternate wings of the school. If we were to replace the two staff restrooms in the art hallway, a centralized location in our school, students and staff would feel more comfortable using the restroom whenever they need to.

This idea allows everyone, transgender or not, to have an easily accessible restroom, that is in a more inclusive spot.

When people at CHS see these bathrooms, they will know that Clayton is an accepting district.

In a world filled with sadness and heartache, where people can’t even use the restrooms without fear for their safety, we need a haven. A place to go when no one wants us. A place to learn and to grow, both in solidarity and as a community.

CHS can be this place. Let’s start by knocking down a sign.