In San Francisco, a city where streetlight poles are so corroded by urine that they are collapsing and nearly killing people, officials at Miraloma Elementary School have decided that the important thing is to make boys and girls use the same bathrooms.
The public school in the safe, quiet Miraloma Park neighborhood will become the first in San Francisco to feature gender-neutral bathrooms, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
The Chronicle is calling the event part of a big “national trend” and crediting Caitlyn Jenner and his reality television show for the new bathroom reality at the grade school.
Miraloma Elementary principal Sam Bass said the bathroom change is because between six and eight students have decided they are transgender, or are tomboys.
“There’s no need to make them gender-specific anymore,” Bass told the Chronicle.
The principal said parents are happy with the new uni-bathroom regime.
“One parent said, ‘So, you’re just making it like it is at home,'” Bass recalled.
Parents interviewed by the Chronicle expressed their elation with the gender-neutral bathrooms.
“I think most people don’t think about how difficult it can be — going to the bathroom — for someone like my son,” a parent who would only give her name as Jae told the newspaper.
Jae’s first-grade son was born a boy — and is a boy — but has long hair and likes to wear clothing designed for girls.
Another parent, Sarah Mattison-Earls, told the Chronicle she is happy because her first-grade son used to wear dresses and “still rocks the gold lamé stretch pants.”
As of this week, kindergarten and first-grade girls and boys at Miraloma Elementary are all relieving themselves in the same bathrooms. Another centralized bathroom is also gender-neutral.
In the next couple years, Miraloma will begin forcing older boys and girls to use bathrooms together.
The bathrooms for the older kids have multiple stalls.
The number of toilets in the bathrooms for students in kindergarten is unclear.
It’s not clear if adults at Miraloma will be subjecting themselves to the new gender-neutral bathroom regime.
As of 2013, mere ownership of a penis or a vagina no longer limits California students in their decisions concerning which bathrooms and locker rooms to use, or which sports teams to join. A state law allows students to make such choices based on their perceived gender identities. (RELATED: Strapping Senior Calling Himself Female To Play On Girls’ High School Softball Team)
At the same time, schools in California and elsewhere haven’t typically chosen to have free-for-all bathrooms for little kids.
Around the country, bathroom usage for students in taxpayer-funded schools is a source of contention.
Last year, for example, the Supreme Court of Maine issued an opinion declaring that transgender children in the state’s public schools must be allowed to choose their own bathrooms despite their genitalia or how uncomfortable other students may feel about it. (RELATED: Maine’s Supreme Court Foists Choose-Your-Own-Bathroom Policy On Entire State)
The 5-1 decision marked the first time any state’s high court had ruled that transgender kids can use the bathroom with which they identify rather than the one matching their biological trappings.
“A transgender girl is a girl and must be treated as such in all respects, including using the girls’ restroom,” a satisfied Jennifer Levi of the Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) transgender rights project insisted at the time.
At the beginning of this school year, about 200 students marched out of a rural Missouri high school to protest a male transgender student’s use of the girls restrooms. (RELATED: High School Students Protest Transgender Bathroom Use)
Lila Perry, the student at the center of the Missouri transgender controversy, was born male but identifies as a girl.
In April 2015, a federal district judge in Pennsylvania dismissed a lawsuit filed by a transgender student who was expelled for repeatedly using a men’s locker room on the campus of the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown despite the school’s order that she not do so. (RELATED: SANITY: Federal Court Rules Taxpayer-Funded College Can Bar WOMAN From Men’s Locker Room)
The student, Seamus Johnston, was born female but identifies as a male.
Johnston filed her federal lawsuit claiming that the school violated her civil rights by preventing her from using men’s locker rooms and restrooms.
Bush appointee Judge Kim R. Gibson ruled that “separating students by sex based on biological considerations — which involves the physical differences between men and women — for restroom and locker room use simply does not violate the Equal Protection Clause.”