In Wisconsin, a school superintendent has decided to provide a unisex bathroom at one of the elementary schools. Oconomowoc Superintendent Roger Rindo admits that the decision to provide the unisex bathroom at Summit Elementary is going into uncharted waters for the district, but he feels that the decision is fair and legal.
The decision came after some parents complained that a six-year-old trans girl used the restroom while another girl was in there.
Rindo stated that “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.” According to Rindo, the addition of unisex bathrooms that anyone could use means that the trans girl will not be singled out.
Rindo stated that “We are creating a practice that any child can use it, so we are not creating a stigma attached to using that restroom”
It appears to be a decision that is welcome by parents. Dan Graves has a child at Summit Elementary and said that “Today in society we have to understand tolerance and acceptance of those that are different and have different needs.”
Numerous places have unisex bathrooms. For instance, Goddard College in Vermont has almost no single-sex bathrooms while almost all of their bathrooms are single-occupancy unisex bathrooms. Many LGBT centers including the Milwaukee LGBT Community Center have unisex bathrooms as well.
Maureen White, who is associated with the center, applauds the decision, but is a bit leery of the bullying issue. She stated that “Because Oconomowoc made this good decision, are there going to be other people to reinforce that this child won’t get bullied? Sometimes there are policies made and not the reinforcement training to back that.”
The school district is planning on expanding the unisex bathroom policies to all of the schools in the district.
Single occupancy unisex bathrooms also tend to help those who are self conscious about using the restroom around others.