A school in Oconomowoc, WI plans to open an unisex bathroom meant to give all students an alternative option. Superintendent Roger Rindo acknowledges that this decision is stepping out of the normal bounds of the school but also believes that it is the right thing to do.
“By providing a unisex bathroom that not just transgender children, but all children can use, provides a facility that is open and available to all children,” Rindo said in a video interview by 620WTMJ.
Parents from Summit Elementary called the district to voice their concerns after a 6-year-old transgender student used the girls’ bathroom while another student was also in there.
The decision to open an unisex bathroom was made to create a common ground for all students to feel safe and comfortable. The district plans to open unisex bathrooms throughout all of the district’s eight schools.
“We are creating a practice that any child can use it, so we are not creating a stigma attached to using that restroom…” Rindo said.
One parent agrees with the Superintendents decision, voicing the importance of being aware of all students’ needs.
“Today in society we have to understand tolerance and acceptance of those that are different and have different needs,” parent Dan Graves said.
A representative from Milwaukee’s LGBT Community Center, Maureen White, agrees that the district has made a good choice, however, she still worries that more needs to be done to ensure the safety of gender non-conforming students.
“Because Oconomowoc made this good decision, are there going to be other people to reinforce that this child won’t get bullied?” White continued, “Sometimes there are policies made and not the reinforcement training to back that.”