LA high school gets gender neutral bathroom

By Reuters   April 19, 2016 | 01:18 am PT
Students at a Los Angeles high school open a gender neutral bathroom amidst a national debate over gender equality.

It was a long time coming, but students in this Los Angeles high school have successfully petitioned to open what they say is the state's first gender-neutral restroom.

Students in the Santee Education Complex's Gay Straight Alliance helped convert a girls' restroom into a restroom open to all students regardless of their gender identity.

GSA group members say they started the "It's Just a Toilet Campaign" to help not just transgender students, but the entire student body.

Dean of students Jose Lara says: "One of the spaces where students would say they often time get bullied or feel uncomfortable, it was in the restrooms, sometimes on campus, usually off campus. Students talked about having stories about how at times they would have to hold it and not go to the restroom all day long and you know that is unhealthy for them...

Student and activist Johnny Ramos says:
"So this restroom is important so that all students can feel comfortable, not just LGBT students or not just minority students, it is for all students so everyone could feel welcome.

Their campaign comes amidst a nationwide debate over laws in North Carolina and elsewhere that bar transgender people from using public bathrooms consistent with their gender identity.

The laws have touched off widespread criticism from corporate, entertainment and sports leaders... rock group Pearl Jam is the latest to cancel a show in the state in protest.

But here in this downtown LA school- a step towards equality as students close the door on gender discrimination.
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