It's a hot-button topic in the United States that one school in Oregon has taken a firm position on.
Grant High School, in Portland, recently announced that it has re-fitted six bathrooms to be unisex for the ten transgender students that attend the school.
Four student restrooms and two staff restrooms will now be gender-neutral.
Four student restrooms and two staff restrooms have now been designated as gender-neutral at Grant High School in Portland, Oregon
Scott Morrison, a transgender student, is pleased with the school assigning six restrooms to be unisex
The move was applauded by one transgender student, Scott Morrison, who felt so uncomfortable with the bathroom situation that he stopped drinking water while at school.
Grant becomes the first school in Portland and one of the first in the nation to assign restrooms as specifically unisex.
It was a relatively inexpensive project, costing about $500, most of which went towards new signs and locks.
The Vice Principal for Grant High School, Kristyn Westphal spoke to The Oregonian about the changes.
'We just need to make sure that all students are safe and comfortable here, and that they have their needs met. If they feel unsafe using the bathroom, that's a problem.'
Oregon has been at the forefront of transgender rights.
In 2007 lawmakers in the state passed the Oregon Equality Act (SB2) which protects lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people from discrimination.
The total cost for changing the restrooms to gender-neutral is just $500 since it mainly involves locks and signs
Jollee Patterson, the General Counsel for Portland Public Schools sent education administrators guidelines about providing a community for transgender students earlier this year.
'This (bathroom) issue requires us to consider the need to support our transgender students, while also doing our best to ensure the safety and comfort of all students,' she noted.
Though this move has been mostly applauded, there are some that are cautious about opening the door towards unisex bathrooms for transgender people.
Michael Silverman of the Transgender Legal Defense points out that gender-neutral bathrooms are not the perfect solution for every student. However, he also concedes that they do at least provide 'privacy' for those that need it.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2298648/Oregon-high-school-creates-unisex-bathrooms-transgender-students.html#ixzz2OYUL1sc4
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