School Creates Bathrooms for Transgender Students

Monday, 25 Mar 2013 11:06 AM

By Kenneth Hanner

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A high school in Portland, Ore., has created six unisex bathrooms in order to better accommodate the school’s small number of transgender students.

Grant High School converted four student restrooms and two staff bathrooms in February. School officials estimate there are five to 10 transgender students at the high school.

School officials told The Oregonian newspaper that the six restrooms — all with single stalls — will be open to all students, but will give an option for transgender students who are uncomfortable with traditional bathrooms.

Vice Principal Kristyn Westphal said school administrators acted after counselors voiced concerns.

“We just need to make sure that all students are safe and comfortable here, and that they have their needs met,” Westphal told the newspaper. “If they feel unsafe using the bathroom, that’s a problem.”

The action come after the Portland Public Schools general counsel circulated a letter to administrators with guidelines on transgender issues.

“This [bathroom] issue requires us to consider the need to support our transgender students, while also doing our best to ensure the safety and comfort of all students,” the letter said, according to The Oregonian.

The state of Oregon passed the Oregon Equality Act in 2007 giving legal protection to the transgendered.

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