Gender-neutral Bathrooms in Newburyport School | NECN

Gender-neutral Bathrooms in Newburyport School

There was one uni-sex bathroom at the school but transgendered students told administrators, it wasn't enough.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    On the first day of school at Newburyport High School, students arrived to find two bathrooms were converted to be gender neutral. (Published Friday, Sept. 9, 2016)

    On the first day of school at Newburyport High School, students arrived to find two bathrooms were converted to be gender neutral.

    Principal Mike Parent said, "We wanted a safe and supportive environment for all students."

    There was one uni-sex bathroom at the school but transgendered students told administrators, it wasn't enough.

    "If they were on the far end of the building on the first floor they had to travel the length of the school to get there," Parent explained.

    There are now three gender neutral facilities that cover all sides of the school.

    One parent said the additions didn't sit well with her daughter.

    The parent did not want to be identified but told NECN, "She went to school found out they had that and came home crying."

    She says she supports helping trans students but she wants to protect her daughter.

    "She doesn't feel comfortable using that bathroom if the others are full up and it's not because she is prejudice against them it's just that she knows that under the hair and the makeup that they are actually a boy," the parent explained.

    Principal Parent says the administration worked with students over the last two years to come up with the plan. He says he is confident that in the end all students will be comfortable.

    "These would be open to students with whatever gender identity or expression that they went by that these were facilities that they could use and anyone could use and if someone wasn't comfortable using those bathrooms there were traditionally designated bathrooms at the end of the hallway," Parent explained.

    150 student leaders have been trained to help their peers understand the issue.

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