by Ienka Santos
Questions about this topic have presented themselves for quite some time now, often resulting in disagreements. Regardless of opinion, there should one hundred percent be gender neutral bathrooms in public schools.
Times have changed, and society needs to adapt to it. Before people were less aware and open about self identification, there was not much need for neutral bathrooms. As the human race evolves and discovers new ideas and perspectives about themselves as individuals, people can now express themselves however they please, whether it be non-binary, genderfluid, genderqueer, etc.
Having gender-neutral bathrooms would potentially make public schools a safer place for everyone. People can feel like they belong by finding communities within schools where they can feel comfortable in their own skin. The integration of these bathrooms create excellent opportunities for schools to be more inclusive for diverse groups of students.
There is always some misunderstanding regarding people of different genders using specified bathrooms. Misunderstandings that lead to something more catastrophic than one would believe. With gender neutral bathrooms, this occurrence can be avoided.
Besides the obvious aspect of gender, gender neutral bathrooms would be single-stalled rooms allowing for easier access for people with disabilities, especially students in wheelchairs. Having gender-neutral bathrooms would benefit more than one group of people; rather it would benefit the whole student body. As said before, it provides a safe space for those that truly need it.
It is not uncommon knowledge that people who are part of the LGBTQ+ community face discrimination just because of how they identify. This is an issue in schools. LGBTQ+ students get bullied and harassed for something they cannot change, nor should they have to. Having these bathrooms would help lessen this prejudice and harassment that they face on a daily basis.
Gender-neutral bathrooms are helpful and beneficial for all genders and ages.