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  • Conner Emery

All Gender Restroom

Clayton Valley Charter High School is familiar with bustling breaks and busy bathrooms, but an update to the all gender restroom in S wing could draw the two closer together than ever before.

In early February 2022, the all gender bathroom by classroom S1 was designated for student use by administration. Specifically, the bathroom is located across from M wing, the base of the school band program, and positioned at a crossroads of electives for the Engineering and Design Academy and the Clayton Arts Academy from S wing. When the race for brunch and lunch offerings begins, pursuit of the available bathroom may grow similarly competitive.

By administrative decision, multiple restrooms were closed in the fall. Dawn Peterson, the manager of facilities at CVCHS, said, “The major problem with bathrooms has to do with students not being respectful of what they have. There has been more than normal vandalism in the bathrooms this year even after major remodeling.”

In this fashion, an all gender restroom exclusive to students stands to be accomodating and inclusive.

The progressiveness of the bathroom is not overlooked by students. The option of an all gender restroom is “a good idea” said Sylvain Thurman, a junior that openly identifies as transgender.

He continued to note, “There are times, where if I were to use a boy’s restroom, as someone who dresses very feminine, I feel it is a safety concern.”

Some are concerned about the capacity of the restroom to lock from inside, however. In its 2021 National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health, crisis intervention organization the Trevor found that 42% of LGBTQ+ youth had seriously considered suicide within the past year.

Thurman conceded that “It does come down to safety,” worried about the risk of self-harm posed by the bathroom above its inclusivity.

Counselor Danielle Rush said “I always have concerns,” citing her role and interest in the safety of students, but she was enthusiastic about the access it afforded students. “It can be inclusive to how they identify,” she added.

Kathryn Koaithong, a gender nonconforming student, was diplomatic about the prospects of the all gender restroom, “Definitely useful.”

All in all, the installation of the inclusive restroom is a welcomed addition to the CVCHS campus.

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