In one Missouri school district, boys and girls will use the same restrooms.
The North Kansas City school district opened two new elementary schools this week, both of which have done away with traditional restrooms and instead feature gender-neutral bathrooms for the students, according to The Kansas City Star.
The signage on the walls outside the restroom features both the male and female symbols. Inside, while maintaining a traditional hand-washing area, the stalls are completely privatized with floor-to-ceiling walls and locking doors.
Rochel Daniels, executive director of organizational development for the district, said the progressive idea was met with “such positive feedback from students, teachers and parents.” As a result, she said, the school will implement the bathroom layout in “any new construction.”
Students said they liked this new design better than traditional bathrooms “because they are more private,” according to Daniels.
“I think it’s great,” one mother, Melanie Austin, whose daughter will be a first-grader, told the Star. “You just don’t know what gender a kid might identify as. This helps everyone to feel comfortable, accepted.”
Daniels said the school district doesn’t have a policy specifically regarding transgenderism or gender-neutral restrooms, she noted the school does “have a policy about non-discrimination.”
“The restrooms became a point where we can provide for all students,” she explained. “The design was a decision based on privacy, safety and security for all students.”
Under former President Barack Obama, Title IX protections were extended to ensure transgender students were guaranteed the right to use the restroom that aligned with their decided gender identity. That extension, however, was walked back in 2017 by President Donald Trump’s administration.