Gender neutral bathrooms make a debut at Laguardia High School
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THE LGBTQ+ community in NYC took a major step forward as LaGuardia High School opened its doors and bathroom stalls to transgender and genderqueer students with the inclusion of four new gender-neutral, multi-stall bathrooms. This came after the bathroom controversy swept through the nation, causing schools and public places to re-examine their policies.
The change was brought on by Dr. Lisa Mars, the current principal of LaGuardia High School and former Language and Art Assistant Principal of Townsend Harris High School, who believes that “inclusivity is a core value at LaGuardia.”
Senior Daniell Morales, a member of the Gender and Sexuality Alliance Club, strongly supports the gender-neutral bathroom, stating, “[developing] the multi-stall gender-neutral bathrooms at Laguardia [is] an amazing stride for LGBTQ+ youth.”
Sophomore Tyler Conway agreed, saying, “I believe this change was necessary in order to take some weight off the shoulders of someone who is genderqueer in an environment where we should all feel safe and secure.”
Dean Robin Figelman added, “I think that everybody has a right to go to the bathroom where [they] feel comfortable.”
Some students, however, addressed concerns about the potential problems of gender-neutral bathrooms in schools involving privacy and safety issues.
Senior Faisal Shaikh commented, “I feel that gender-neutral bathrooms threaten one’s safety in a bathroom. It allows men to enter women’s bathrooms, and that can lead to a number of problems.”
Senior Agnes Poplawski stated, “I think multi-stall, gender-neutral bathrooms are a good addition [for] those who don’t associate with a particular sex, as long as everyone in the bathroom is comfortable.”
There is in fact a single occupancy gender-neutral bathroom available at THHS, which is located in the nurse’s office.
In response to the gender-neutral bathroom at THHS, freshman Christine Schmitt said, “I didn’t know we had a single-stall bathroom, but I think it’s a great idea, especially for transgender or gender-fluid students who aren’t comfortable using a boys’ or girls’ bathroom.”
Senior Brandon LuShing agrees with Ms. Fee’s opinion: “I feel okay with having gender neutral bathrooms at THHS. I feel like having them in this school is a basic right, which goes with the morals of this country. People might feel awkward at first. But if we don’t have them and we don’t inclue everyone, then it’s not fair. If everyone is nice and friendly with each other, then there would not be a problem with this change.”
Sophomore Andreas Migias stated, “I think that if everyone is well behaved and does not bully anyone, then implementing gender neutral bathrooms is not going to be problem. If the entire change is put in a positive light, then the whole change will be a good thing. Plus, I have not seen anyone in this school be rude or disrespectful towards anyone, so I think the change can be possible.”
There is just one concern that some students have. Senior Tseten Lhamo stated, “The idea is good but I am not exactly sure how the change will start to be implemented