A Bathroom is a Bathroom

Students explore the possibility of gender neutral bathrooms as part of their Leadership class


Caroline Morrell, with permission

The faculty bathrooms are all gender neutral, yet the students’ are divided by male/female.

Caroline Morrell, Yasmine Poireau, Contributors

When Abington High School was built six years ago, it was created to provide students with two bathroom choices: female and male. Even though a few faculty members stressed to the contractors the importance of having at least one gender neutral bathroom, it was shoved under the rug entirely.

“…Compromising anyone’s identity in a public school shouldn’t be allowed.”

— Mr. Cutter

In today’s society, not everyone identifies with the male/female binary, and that transgender and nonbinary students deserve to feel just as safe and accepted as their cisgender peers. It is against school policy to ostracize a student and currently, Abington is accidently doing so. If a student were to ask a faculty member for a gender neutral bathroom, they would reply with “use the nurse’s bathroom.”

Not only does this create crowding in the nurse’s bathroom, but it also condescends those in the need of one. Transgender male students, for example, cannot use the male bathroom during their menstrual cycle because the hygiene disposal boxes are only present in the female bathrooms.

As a high school, we must destigmatize transphobia and promote privacy, and stop normalizing fear when it comes to discussing gender neutral bathrooms. Mr. Cutter, of the English department, was interviewed and discussed how “…Compromising anyone’s identity in a public school shouldn’t be allowed.”

We are a public school within a small town. It is time to start educating ourselves, unlearning internalized bias, and working towards a more inclusive community.  If done successfully, over time our school can have a gender neutral bathroom added right outside the first floor female bathroom. Gender neutral bathrooms could benefit everyone, not just transgender students. Those who wish for more privacy or those with disabilities could also access this space without the stigma of using the nurses’ bathroom or worrying about the nurses’ schedule for the day.

The Class of 2023 made over $18,000 last year with one class auction, meaning if all classes start fundraising and put a percentage towards this matter, gender neutral bathrooms can happen in Abington. On average, a 10×10 single stall ranges from $12,000-$25,000.

Will you help us make this happen? Talk to your class advisors!

Editor’s note: This article was created as part of a Leadership class assignment, and not in collaboration with the Green Wave Gazette.