The following information was shared with high school students during school today, and a copy of this letter was sent to parents/guardians via School News Notifier (SNN).
September 19, 2016
We are writing to clear up some misperceptions about the purpose of creating gender neutral bathrooms at the high school.
We received feedback from students with concerns regarding feeling safe and comfortable in school bathrooms. The reality is that some students prefer more privacy than is afforded by school bathrooms, and for a variety of reasons: religious, cultural, health-related, gender-related, or modesty, among others. Whatever the reason behind the preference, it is incumbent upon the school to work to provide a safe and supportive environment for all students.
As a result of this feedback, a bathroom near the LGI was designated as gender neutral at the start of the school year. We viewed this as a short-term solution as we worked around current construction projects to adapt single-occupancy bathrooms for student use.
Starting today, two of four single-occupancy bathrooms designated as gender neutral will be available for use; the remaining two will be functional within the coming week. Two are located in the technology wing of the high school, and two are near the library. Please note that the entrance to each bathroom is monitored by security cameras and staff members who patrol our hallways.
Students who prefer privacy are also able to use the bathroom in the nurse’s office. In addition, the bathroom next to the LGI will now return to use for girls only.
As you may be aware, the district theme for this year is: Constructing a Culture of Acceptance and Adaptability. Establishing gender neutral bathrooms is just one step the district can take to address a variety of student needs, and to help all students feel safe and comfortable. In addition, we will continue to listen to student feedback as we work to make everyone feel comfortable and accepted in our schools.
If you have questions, please feel free to call the district office at 356-8200 or the high school at 356-8314.
Kathleen A. Spring, Ph.D.
Superintendent of Schools
Lisa A. Patierne, Ed.D.
Principal, Mohonasen High School
Constructing a Culture of Acceptance and Adaptability