There should be more all-gender bathrooms


Linda Hu

Senior Staff Writer Lila Shields argues that there should be more all-gender bathrooms.

Lila Shields, Senior Staff Writer

The safety and comfort of Algonquin students should be prioritized, but the current lack of all-gender bathrooms is not demonstrating proper support for everyone. 

A group from the student council proposed the idea of adding at least three all-gender restrooms, which was passed on May 13 of 2021. It is important to continue to push for more single stall all-gender bathrooms for the comfort and safety of all transgender and non-gender-conforming students in Algonquin. 

The hard work from students that have pushed and continue to push for more all-gender bathrooms does not go unnoticed, though it is important we continue making these efforts. Transgender students deserve to feel safe at Algonquin, and continuing attempts to increase the number of all-gender bathrooms will make a great impact. Compared to last year, there were no all-gendered bathrooms. The accomplishment of establishing these restrooms was a big step for Algonquin.

A conflict that the student council has faced in order to increase the amount of all-gender bathrooms is having less faculty restrooms. Though there will be less staff bathrooms, establishing more all-gendered bathrooms for the comfort of students should be prioritized.

Throughout the school, there are three all-gender restrooms for student use (excluding the nurse’s office). This can lead to students feeling uncomfortable if they are unable to use an all-gender bathroom due to the distance from their current class. Being forced into gendered bathrooms and locker rooms is damaging to one’s own identity. 

The lack of all-gender bathrooms can not only make students feel invalid but also put them at risk of bullying when unable to have access to one. Some transgender and non-gender conforming students have expressed feeling unsafe in gendered bathrooms, worrying that they do not pass well enough or feel they will be judged. 

Some benefits of having more all-gender bathrooms are not only making students feel heard but also normalizing the use of these restrooms. It would also reduce time out of the classroom for students who do use them and prevent the hassle of having to walk far to get to the proper restroom, allowing students to spend more time learning. 

In nearby Westborough high school, 11 out of 21 single-stall bathrooms are now used as all-gender bathrooms, as passed in 2018. Algonquin hopefully will progress forward with an increase of all-gender bathrooms for students. 

Adding all gender restrooms will not only decrease the walk to a stall but also prove by action, Algonquin’s support for the LGBTQ+ community. Supporting each and every student is more complex than simply calling them by their name and correct pronouns, but also going further by using your privilege as a cisgender person to push for more support for them.

Algonquin is headed in the right direction by adding these restrooms, but room for improvement is also important to focus on. Transgender students are deserving to feel valid and not be forced into uncomfortable situations. 

The lack of all-gender bathrooms is an issue we face, but inequality is bigger than this. Algonquin is still actively trying to improve and listen to students’ voices. Some progress that has been made aside from the bathrooms is distributing pronoun pins to the staff, creating a safe environment for classrooms, staying educated on ways to support the LGBTQ+ community and continuing to keep an open mind to improvement.