Gender Neutral Bathroom Becomes Staff Bathroom

Administration, Students Weigh In On Decision

A+staff+restroom+placard+covers+what+used+to+be+a+picture+indicating+it+was+a+gender+neutral+bathroom.

Grace Winkler

A “staff restroom” placard covers what used to be a picture indicating it was a gender neutral bathroom.

    A few weeks before break, the gender neutral restroom near the DIT Pathway restrooms in the back core was changed into a staff restroom.

     Some LGBTQ+ students were not happy about the change, citing the lack of options for restrooms.

   School administration met about the situation and what they thought would be best.

     “I feel very unhappy with the whole situation,” freshman Grace Marier said. “I feel as if they gave something to the nonbinary community at Staley then just said, ‘Sike, jk.’ Not only do I think it was an unnecessary change, I also think that staff can use the gender neutral bathrooms as well.” 

Do I think they had ill intentions with it? No. Do I think they made the wrong decision? Yes.

— Tanner Powell, 9

     

     Another student had something to say on the matter.

     “I don’t think it’s fair because I’m pretty sure we didn’t even have that many in the first place,” freshman Tanner Powell said. “They should be accessible without locks on them. And turning it into a staff bathroom means it’s even harder for people who don’t identify with the black-and-white typical standards.”

     He believed the change was the wrong decision but not malicious.

“Do I think they had ill intentions with it? No. Do I think they made the wrong decision? Yes,” freshman Tanner  Powell said.

     Assistant principal James Wheeler, Ed.D., said the decision was not an administrative one.

     “When the building project was made, that’s the way in which they left the bathroom,” Wheeler said. “At that point, the

construction workers had made the decision to put it up. We had some conversation here locally at the school about what we wanted to do with that bathroom, and at the time we thought it was best just to convert it into a staff bathroom.”

     Wheeler said the decision was made for the safety of students.

     “There’s also some keen situations that need to be taken into account,” Wheeler said.

     “If we find out that there’s a situation happening, it’s really difficult for staff if they’re needing to get in there for an emergency situation, and they’re locked out. It creates another level of being unable to reach a student.”

Grace Winkler

     Wheeler said he believed the research and had discussions about the most appropriate locking mechanism in case a student had an emergency in the single bathrooms.

     “How do we actually get to them if they are in need of help?” Wheeler said.

     This left some looking for the most convenient restroom option for those who don’t feel comfortable using a gender-specific bathroom.

     “We have some options for them,” Wheeler said.

     He said there are gender- neutral restrooms in the PE side of the school, the nurse’s office, the counseling office as well as the library media center.

     “Then, of course, we have our restrooms that are in every core hallway that students can access,”

Wheeler said.

     Wheeler said the change will most likely be permanent, but there were many issues taken into consideration before this decision was made. While not as conveniently located to certain classrooms, nonbinary and trans students do have other options available for use.