PARK CITY, Utah – Transgender, gender variant, and gender non-conforming students now have their own bathroom at Park City High School.
According to KSL TV, the “gender neutral” restroom, believed to be the first in the State of Utah, was the idea of student council member Adam Snyder.
Snyder says he came up with the idea after reading that some colleges now have gender neutral restrooms for students and thought, “well, transgender students don’t just exist on college campuses.”
With the help of the school’s Gay Straight Alliance, Snyder took the proposal to the Park City School Board.
Park City High Principal Bob O’Connor told KSL that he doesn’t want any student feeling fearful of using a restroom in the school, “so they have a safe place to go.”
According to the news source, a senior at the school, Tori Vipond, who doesn’t identify as male or female, “walks the halls, goes to class, washes up and flushes the toilet just like any other student at the school,” but “choosing which restroom to use has been a challenge.”
“I usually just hold it until I go to the restroom at home,” said Vipond.
While Principal O’Connor says there have been a few critical online comments about the restroom, students and staff appear accepting of the new facility.
In Canada, gender neutral restrooms are in the works for Edmonton, Vancouver, and Calgary Public Schools.
In Vancouver, a motion was passed last June calling for single-stall, gender neutral washrooms in all school buildings “so that a child will not have to tell anyone their gender based on the bathroom that they use.”
According to a report earlier this month from Global News Canada, the move to build the restrooms into the design of all new Calgary public school buildings was spurred by conversations with students from Gay Straight Alliance clubs and from concerns expressed by transgender students.
Gay Straight Alliances (GSAs) were started by GLSEN, the Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network, an organization founded and led by former Obama safe schools adviser, Kevin Jennings.
Shortly after his appointment in 2009, Jennings resigned after several conservative organizations and 53 lawmakers called for his firing, claiming that Jennings had, “for more than twenty years, almost exclusively focused on promoting the homosexual agenda.”
According to GLSEN, there are more than 4,000 GSAs in America’s middle and high schools today.