Keeping It Neutral

Private restroom meets needs of gender-fluid students


Sasha Smith

The gender neutral bathroom located in the hallway between P.E. and the upper commons.

Sasha Smith, Staff Reporter

Along with the dread that fills students before the first day of school, came the gossip about the renovations and add-ons the school spent all summer working on. Not only were bathrooms redone, but the long-awaited gender neutral bathroom had been put in. The school’s delay in adding a gender neutral bathroom puzzled students but many don’t question it since it’s finally here. Donovan Zimmer (10) is excited about the school’s decision to make the move this year.

“I think the school finally started to recognize that a lot more people will use it now,” Zimmer said. “It probably took a lot of papers getting signed and meetings to let the idea pass so it shows they were really putting in the effort to make it happen.”

Although the bathroom is in the school, students have yet to use it. The big question is if it’s really open this year or not.

“From what I’ve heard it’s not open, and I think it’s weird that it’s not open yet because if it was, I know a lot of students that would be using it every day,” Zimmer said.

In order to use the bathroom, there is a key stored in the office only about 25 feet away from the bathroom, which is causing frustration for a lot of students.

“That just seems like a hassle, it would be better, if maybe not all, but some teachers had a key to that bathroom and all you had to do was ask your teacher for the key,” Zimmer said.

Zimmer’s idea had only one flaw.

“Teachers have things they need to be doing; we don’t want them to get distracted anytime they would be interrupted for a key,” Fast said.

Fast being an assistant principal, he has the inside scoop on what took the school so long to put this bathroom in.

“We had some different ideas about what we wanted to do in the library, but the space wasn’t really effective for what we wanted to do,” Fast said. “And then there was some sort of master plan for bathroom renovations so that preoccupied most of our time, but I’m excited we have something available for students.”

One of the main concerns for the bathroom would be the students abusing it and not taking proper care of it.

“I work in a high school and have for 26 years, adolescents make questionable decisions, so who knows what they might try and do. I mean there are bathrooms that get abused in some way every day, so this one probably won’t be any different,” Fast said.

Fast definitely isn’t the only one concerned with this thought. As a student, Zimmer knows there will be people who would try and mess with the bathroom.

“I think people will try to, but I feel like the principal will crack down on it enough to where people just stop trying,” Zimmer said.

Sean Murphy (11) has an idea for a possible location for another gender-neutral bathroom.

“I’m wondering, with the boy’s English bathroom being closed for a few years now, if there could be a possibility of that being converted into another option for a gender-neutral bathroom,” Murphy said.  “I mean, there are keys for that bathroom, and typically someone is stationed around there. I feel like adding that on would be beneficial and a real time saver for people trying to use the gender-neutral bathroom but are coming from the opposite end of the school. It would reduce the amount of time wasted being out of class.”

Fast doesn’t disagree with the idea, and there are some issues that would need to be solved before any change like that could even happen.

“There is a possibility but the problem with that bathroom is the lack of supervision. It just gets torn up all the time, sinks ripped out, and holes in the way to name a few. It’s mainly just used for staff now, but that’s definitely something to bring up to Dr. McCarthy,” Fast said.

The buzz about the gender-neutral bathroom has been going on since summer and still continues now. Ideas are flowing, possible solutions are being brought up and everybody has heard about the bathroom. For any student who would like access, speak to your grade level principal.