Unisex Bathrooms in High Schools Are a Reality Parents Need to Accept

Rant 62

school bathroomWe've been hearing a lot lately about how tough it is for transgender kids in American schools. Now there's a move afoot that could make it easier for them ... but it could change things big time for all kids. I'm talking about unisex bathrooms.

High schools in spots like Medford, Massachusetts are already designating certain facilities for boys AND girls to go do their business. Anyone else thinking what I'm thinking?

It's about darned time!

Yup, I said it. I am all for unisex bathrooms in American high schools, and here's why: at some point we need to start teaching teenagers how to deal with the other sex without getting all squicked about it.

I grew up in the sticks where not only were the bathrooms segregated, but our lockers were split by gender too. It was the strangest thing watching all the girls go to one side of the hall, all the boys to the other, as if that gap down the middle was somehow going to keep us from ... what? Jumping each other's bones when we got some alone time?

Unisex bathrooms can go a long way toward easing the troubles for transgender kids who are trapped between two genders, but they offer something worthwhile for kids who aren't gender confused too. They're one little step toward the real world, one bit of faith in them.

I know, I know, we're all terrified that our kids are going to be teen parents if they spend an iota of unsupervised time with the opposite sex. But let's get real, y'all: keeping them separate every chance we can get doesn't really prepare them for the real world where women and men share offices and, yes, often share the same office bathroom.

Does every bathroom need to be unisex? No. There's no reason schools should have to spend huge amounts of money retrofitting restrooms. But if they're making renovations anyway, it's not a bad idea to consider forcing kids to grow up just a wee bit.

Would you allow your kids to attend a school with unisex bathrooms?


Image via thisreidwrites/Flickr

school, tough topics, sex


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reynab27 reynab27

Im sorry but a duck is still a duck and a boy is still a boy i dont want my daughter to have to feel uncomfortable in a private place because a boy is having gender issues yea i said it...a real girl has periods something a tranny will never understand

nonmember avatar RealityCheck

Who exactly are you to tell me what I NEED to accept as a parent?

There's rampant backward logic in saying that instituting new standards of normality to cater to a small minority of confused kids is 'preparation for the real world." No, dear. In the real world, the individual is responsible for adapting to (or rejecting, whatever floats your boat) societal norms, not the other way around.

When and where my daughter pulls down her pants in front of a boy is HER decision, not yours or anyone else's.

nonmember avatar Gretta

OMG no. That is dumb. And asking for more trouble in my opinion.

zandh... zandhmom2

No, I don't want my teen daughter changing in a locker room with teenage boys! I don't understand the "real world" logic you are implying...when I (a grown woman) go to the gym, I go into the "women's room" and men go into the "men's room".  I have never gone anywhere in my 40+ years that I "had" to change in front of any man (unless I wanted to!) I'm sorry that transgender kids feel uncomfortable going into their "real" gender locker rooms but I don't want my daughter to feel uncomfortable either.  Call me selfish, I really don't care.

Jennifer Gatti Whorton

Yeah, let's see if you feel the same way when your daughter is a teen and she comes home knocked up because she and her boyfriend got to use unisex restrooms during school. What a weirdo.

anoth... anotherhalf

Your "real world" logic is insane. I have never had to go to the bathroom with men right outside the stall doors. Boys and girls should have privacy to change or go to the bathroom. You might want to think through your logic better.

mande... manderspanders

In the REAL WORLD, we do not use unisex bathrooms in public (unless you consider the large "family" restroom to be unisex).  In the REAL WORLD, we do not have unisex locker rooms.

In the REAL WORLD, people get treated like shit for any number of stupid, trivial reasons; and you know what?  You gotta learn to deal with it because NO ONE will protect you, save you, or punish those who are just assholes in general.

I'm sorry these transgendered kids are so confused; but they are going to have an exceedingly difficult road ahead regardless of the "accomodations" the schools make... they gotta learn to live with the consequences and survive in the REAL WORLD just like the rest of us.

nonmember avatar MrsClark

Im sorry that trans kids feel uncomfortable. But why subject every kid to it? What about the kids who don't feel comfortable using the bathroom with the opposite sex in the next stall? Highschool kids are going through enough changes that embarrass them. Plus I feel like it could open the door for boys bullying girls and vice versa.why does the majority have to cater to the needs of the few?

MsRkg MsRkg

I think unisex bathrooms are fine, if they still keep the traditional boys and girls rooms. I believe in giving people options.I don't think it's right to force a transgendered student to use the restroom based on their anatomy, especially when they are in high school and will be more subject to bullying,abuse and harassment in that restroom, nor do I think it's OK to give a carte blance acceptance for them to use the restroom of the gender that they believe they are. At the very least give the options of unisex bathrooms, and a student can use it if they wish to, or provide singular private bathrooms. I don't think it's hard to compromise on this issue.

nonmember avatar blh

I would have never gone to the bathroom at school if it was unisex. You're crazy if you think girls wouldn't get harassed by boys. Plus I've heard of kids having sex in the bathroom at school, it would be way easier if it was unisex. This is completely in appropriate

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