MCPS looks into “All-gender” bathrooms

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MCPS looks into “All-gender” bathrooms

Graphic by Caroline Dinh

Graphic by Caroline Dinh

Graphic by Caroline Dinh

Chloe Gonzales, News Writer

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MCPS has been looking more into implementing all gender bathrooms across schools. Some members of the LGBTQ+ community have pushed for all-gender bathrooms in order to ensure that everyone will have a restroom they are comfortable with using regardless of their gender identity.

According to the Bethesda Magazine, “Teens today already put so much weight on themselves and are ridden with anxiety. This is especially true for non-conforming kids,” parent of a non-binary child and a transgender child, Julia Greenstein, said.

Some RM students support the implementation of all-gender bathrooms at RM because it would make the school more welcoming for students. “Although it doesn’t personally affect me, I think that it could make people feel more comfortable,” freshman Elizabeth Mai said.

Senior Ummara Khan, however, offered a different view on the issue: “I understand people may not be comfortable with using a gender-neutral bathroom, but if we are sympathetic to that discomfort, then why not the discomfort of those who don’t identify as either gender or those who are transgender?”

School and county officials may hesitate in implementing all-gender restrooms because of the difficulty in satisfying the various needs of high school students. “I would have to really think about all the potential obstacles, barriers, and issues that could come up with that. I mean, could it work? It could,” principal Damon Monteleone said. “I don’t know if turning every single bathroom into a unisex bathroom, like I think that there may be unforeseen issues that come out of that.”

RM currently has boys and girls bathrooms, with no all-gender bathrooms in the school.  The school’s policy is that students may use the bathrooms with which they identify. The bathrooms in the main office and nurse’s office, however, are available for all students to use, regardless of their gender. “I know that what we do right now is that we provide spaces, like safe spaces for any student that doesn’t want to necessarily use a male or female bathroom for whatever reason,” Mr. Monteleone said.